Sunderland owner Stewart Donald has admitted that the Black Cats had inquired about the possibility of signing Sheffield United striker Ched Evans before the transfer window closed.
The League One side had been desperate to bolster their forward line and eventually managed to prise Will Grigg away from Wigan at the last minute.
Before that, though, Donald had been in contact with Blades boss Chris Wilder, asking if any of his forwards were available.
News of Sunderland’s link with a move for Evans, who is currently on loan at Fleetwood Town, had leaked last week and sparked debate among the club’s supporters, given the Welsh forward’s past.
However, Donald said that they didn’t pursue the interest for footballing reasons, rather than a potential backlash from Sunderland fans.
He told podcast Roker Rapport that manager Jack Ross made the call not to sign Evans.
"I know (Sheffield United manager) Chris Wilder well and I phoned him directly and asked him 'who you got, who you looking to move out because we need a striker',” Donald said.
“He gave me a couple of names of people out there and I mentioned him (Evans), and we said to Sheffield United that we may be be interested.
“Jack talked it through and again it was a footballing decision. We got down the avenue of having a conversation and then Jack said 'I think we want to go in a different direction, so no thank you'.
"So that's where we got to."
Evans had also been courted by Bolton during the window.
However, because their approach was received during the final 24 hours of the window, United and the former Wales international required Fleetwood's permission to cut short the player's stay at Highbury.
When that was not forthcoming, Bolton manager Phil Parkinson was forced to admit defeat in his search for more firepower as Wanderers attempt to steer themselves out of the relegation zone.