Sunderland have wasted little time in attempting to bolster their squad in anticipation of Jordan Henderson's imminent departure after submitting a triple bid to Manchester United.
Press Association Sport understands the Black Cats have tabled a joint offer amounting to in excess of £12million for defender Wes Brown, midfielder Darron Gibson and a third member of Sir Alex Ferguson's first-team squad.
The move came as Henderson's £20million switch to Anfield edged closer to completion.
England international Brown, 31, was at one stage earlier in his career touted as the new Bobby Moore, but a succession of injury problems has hampered his progress in recent years.
Gibson too has had to remain patient as he seeks a regular place in United's star-studded midfield, and the 23-year-old's Republic of Ireland boss, Giovanni Trapattoni, has on more than one occasion suggested he might benefit from a move to a club where he would play every week.
Sunderland have been quick to press home their interest in the trio less than 24 hours after reaching agreement with Liverpool over Henderson.
Chairman Niall Quinn earlier today promised that Steve Bruce's squad would be strengthened, and he will hope the latest development is viewed as a sign of intent by fans disappointed at the 20-year-old Academy graduate's impending departure following Darren Bent's defection in January.
Quinn said: "Jordan is a credit to himself, his family and Sunderland's Academy and everyone here wishes him the very best for the future.
"I'm pleased that we got the deal to a level that we felt was right for our club.
"We know the areas that need strengthening and the type of player we need in order to progress, and the job of bringing those players to the club is continuing at a pace."
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