Sunderland have made an enquiry for Brighton defender Alex Cochrane, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
The 20-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at Union SG, having joined the Belgian club in October.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that the Black Cats would like to sign the left-back either on loan or in a permanent deal this month.
Sunderland have been monitoring the defender’s progress this season with a view to taking advantage of his contract situation at Brighton.
Cochrane has entered the final six months of his deal at the Amex Stadium and could leave the club on a free in the summer.
He has made six appearances for his loan club Union SG this season and has started the last five consecutive league games.
His versatility will appeal to Black Cats manager Lee Johnson, with Cochrane comfortable operating at left-back, centre-half and from the left-hand side of midfield.
The Brighton-born defender has made two senior appearances for his boyhood club and has featured for England at youth level, both for the Under-16s and the Under-20s.
In July, Seagulls boss Graham Potter revealed that he had been “impressed” by both the youngster’s attitude and ability in first-team training.
Cochrane could become Lee Johnson’s second signing at the Stadium of Light after the club confirmed the capture of Carl Winchester from Forest Green Rovers on a two-and-a-half year deal over the weekend.