SUNDERLAND manager Martin O'Neill is confident he will land another striker before the transfer window closes — and Danny Graham is still believed to be his top target.
Steven Fletcher has impressed since sealing a £12 million move from Wolves last summer, scoring ten goals so far this season, including a brace against Swansea City in August soon after switching to the Black Cats.
But O'Neill has precious little firepower in reserve if Fletcher were to get injured.
Connor Wickham is yet to score a Premier League goal this season, while Louis Saha has been told he is free to leave.
Ryan Noble and Ji Dong-Won have both been sent out on loan, while Fraizer Campbell has just been sold to Cardiff.
Consequently O'Neill wants to beef up his front line and has already made enquiries about Graham.
"I can't really discuss other players but on a general note, I think we can get someone else in," said the Sunderland boss.
"If it didn't materialise I'd be somewhat disappointed, I'd be worried because if anything happened to Fletcher it could cause us a problem.
"I'm still genuinely hopeful we can add to the squad.
"I'd want to try to get someone else in. Thursday can either come very quickly or very slowly.
"Until someone's signed up I genuinely don't think you can ever think something's close.
"I allowed Fraizer to go. I felt this was a big opportunity for him, he didn't want it to disappear and so I allowed him to go, but I am hopeful something will develop for us."
Sunderland are two places and five points behind Swansea as they negotiate an up and down season.
They have won their last two Premier League games, against Wigan and West Ham, but suffered an FA Cup defeat to Bolton in between.
"Swansea have done fantastically, following on from last season's first attempt in the Barclays Premier League," added O'Neill.
"They've kept the momentum going through a change of manager without any real change in style."