Paolo Di Canio’s bid to boost his Sunderland side’s firepower could open an avenue for Connor Wickham to return to Hillsborough.
Ex-Owls star Di Canio is in the same position as Dave Jones - wanting to sign at least one new striker.
Wickham appears to have made a limited impact at the Stadium of Light since Di Canio took over as boss.
The England Under 21 striker was recalled from his Wednesday loan by Di Canio’s predecessor, Martin O’Neill, in March because Sunderland had injuries.
But under Di Canio, Wickham made only two starts and came on once as a sub and spent the rest of the time sidelined by injury.
The Sunderland boss is understood to have been frustrated at times by the 20-year-old’s inconsistency, at one point comparing him to a “Playboy model” and saying he needed a slap in the face to spur him on.
Wickham has made light of those remarks and indicated that he intends to do his best to earn a place.
But Di Canio wants to add a fifth striker to his current pool, which includes Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon, the pair who were keeping Wickham out at the time he was loaned to Wednesday, plus Danny Graham.
If it begins to emerge that Wickham is likely to be on the sidelines again then Jones may well have a chance of bringing him back.
The Owls boss said at the time of the youngster’s exit that he hoped to work with him again in the future.
Jones rates Wickham highly as a player and personality and as someone who can thrive in the Championship even if he is not getting a look-in in the Premier League.
A loan would appear to be likeliest way of landing the striker, with Jones probably preferring a long-term one. Wickham cost Sunderland £8m and no doubt they would want a substantial fee before they could be persuaded to sell him.
Even in a loan the Owls would have to fund at least part of his wages - but clearly that was not a problem in February when he was signed for a month, with the Owls’ financial arm strengthened by Chris O’Grady’s loan move to Barnsley, who fully funded O’Grady’s salary.
If it was to be another loan deal for Wickham then Wednesday could be waiting until August, the month when Premier League clubs often decide on whom they can afford to let go.