Hamburger SV have confirmed that midfielder Paul Scharner is nearing a January move to Sunderland.
The experienced midfielder only joined the Bundesliga side last summer, but he is already thinking about returning to England.
Scharner, 32, has found it hard to break into the starting line-up and is now eager to leave in search of first team football.
Sunderland are reportedly prepared to offer him an escape route from Imtech Arena, and HSV chief Frank Arnesen admits the Black Cats could sign the player on loan until the end of the season.
“Paul would like to play football (on regular basis), which is currently difficult for him with us,” HSV sporting director Frank Arnesen told Hamburger Morgenpost.
“It would be nice if we could farm out Paul to Sunderland until the summer so that he can get some match practice.”
The Black Cats are even prepared to include a buy-out option, but HSV are not interested in an outright sale.
Paul Scharner, who spent six and a half seasons in the English Premier League with Wigan and West Brom, has made just four Bundesliga appearances since joining the club on a free transfer in the summer.