Wes Brown could kick-start a transfer merry-go-round which would help City land Bolton’s England defender Gary Cahill!
Sunderland have been in pole position to lure the 31-year-old United defender to the Stadium of Light.
But £5m-rated Mancunian Brown is reluctant to uproot his family from Cheshire to Wearside and would find a switch to Bolton more favourable.
M.E.N. Sport understands Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is close to giving up hope of signing Brown, whose 13-year Old Trafford first-team career petered out this season following an alleged bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson.
That has alerted Bolton boss Owen Coyle, and if he can land Brown it will pave the way for Cahill to leave, with several clubs joining City in the race for the defender.
Brown was one of a trio of Reds being chased by former United defender Bruce at Sunderland in what would have been a £12m joint deal.
Midfielder Darron Gibson is set to agree to his move, but the other member of the trio – John O’Shea – is still mulling over his options.
With Reds’ boss Sir Alex Ferguson cutting back on his fringe players, O’Shea too could fit the bill for Bolton.