Tyne-Wear rivals Newcastle United and Sunderland are reportedly poised to go head-to-head in a bid to sign England international Andy Carroll this month.
The Premier League duo, who both sit in the bottom three respectively after their opening 20 fixtures, are both keen on recruiting the West Ham United striker this January, with the Hammers willing to sell the hitman for around £18m.
The 26-year-old, who has nine international caps for the Three Lions, has scored three goals in 12 league appearances for Slaven Bilic’s side this season.
Having regained his fitness over the festive period; Carroll has scored twice in his last two games against Southampton and Liverpool, alerting Steve McClaren’s Magpies and Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats to his goalscoring exploits which could help save each club from relegation come the end of the campaign.
West Ham boss Bilic is thought to be keen on offloading striker Carroll this month due to his £90,000-a-week wages, a move that would help the Croatian fund his own transfer business in January.