SUNDERLAND’S hopes of signing Chris Martin have been boosted by Fulham’s lack of interest in their former striker, but the Black Cats are still awaiting a response from the Scotland international.

Martin has returned to England after attending Derby County’s five-day training camp in Dubai, and Sunderland officials remain in close contact with the striker and his representatives.

However, Chris Coleman is still to learn whether Martin is prepared to swap Pride Park for the Stadium of Light for the remainder of the season.

Derby boss Gary Rowett is prepared to lose the 29-year-old, with Martin having dropped further down the Derby pecking order after Cameron Jerome joined the Rams from Norwich City.

Martin is aware of Sunderland’s interest, but is keen to keep his options open for as long as possible ahead of Wednesday night’s transfer deadline.

Reading have also offered a loan move, although sources in the Midlands claim Martin could be reluctant to uproot to Berkshire for a four-month spell.

Wolves have been linked with a possible move for the majority of the month, and the option of a switch to Molineux would have obvious appeal. At this stage, however, there is nothing formal on the table from the Championship leaders.

Martin spent last season on loan at Fulham, and the Cottagers had been linked with a potential reunion earlier this week. However, Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic yesterday comprehensively ruled out a second loan deal.

“Martin won’t come back to Fulham,” said Jokanovic. “I make no comments on different rumours.”

Having already missed out on Ben Woodburn and Jon Walters this month – the former was told he would not be allowed to leave Liverpool and the latter was forced to undergo knee surgery that will sideline him for at least another month – Coleman is reluctant to close the door on a deal for Martin.

However, the Sunderland manager also accepts it is imperative he recruits another striker this month, and is prepared to move on to alternative targets if there is no indication of a positive conclusion in the next couple of days.

Joel Asoro and Josh Maja remain the only strikers currently on Sunderland books, and Coleman is desperate to give himself alternative options ahead of Tuesday’s crucial trip to relegation rivals Birmingham City.

The Black Cats boss is also targeting a new goalkeeper this month, and has approached Leeds United to inquire about the availability of Andy Lonergan.

Lonergan has only made nine senior appearances for Leeds this season, with Thomas Christiansen preferring to field Felix Wiedwald.

The 34-year-old would like to play more football in the second half of the season, and is well known to Sunderland assistant Kit Symons, who previously worked with him at Fulham.

Leeds are willing to listen to offers for their second-choice shot-stopper, although they would only be interested in a permanent transfer rather than a loan deal, and would demand a fee before they agreed to allow him to leave.

Liverpool’s Adam Bogdan has been mentioned as a possible replacement at Leeds, but Sunderland are not in a position where they can make cash offers for anyone unless Lamine Kone or Didier Ndong leave before the end of the month.

Ndong had previously been linked with Watford, but the French media yesterday reported that the Premier League club have dropped their interest in the midfielder following the appointment of Javi Gracia as the managerial replacement for Marco Silva.

Coleman would like to see Ndong depart for a fee this month, and the Sunderland boss is also desperate to see the back of Jack Rodwell.

Rodwell, whose £70,000-a-week contract is not due to expire for another 18 months, was due to have a trial at Vitesse Arnhem yesterday. However, the Dutch club cancelled the trial at the last minute, citing “organisational reasons”.

Sunderland have offered to release Rodwell from the remainder of his deal, but the former England international is refusing to write off his potential earnings to the end of next season, and there is a good chance he could remain on Wearside for at least the remainder of the current campaign.

One player did leave the Stadium of Light yesterday, with Rees Greenwood seeing his Sunderland contract cancelled by mutual consent.

The 22-year-old had six months of his deal remaining, but is now free to enter into talks with alternative employers.

The Winlaton midfielder made one senior appearance for the Black Cats, with his sole start coming as Sunderland drew 2-2 with Watford on the final day of the 2015-16 season.