Sunderland are understood to have held talks with experienced Championship midfielders Alan Browne and Oliver Norwood.

Both are veterans at Championship level as the Black Cats look to bolster their ranks ahead of the upcoming campaign.

Phil Smith of the Sunderland Echo, broke the news that the Wearsiders are among a number of clubs interested in signing former Preston North End captain Browne, who turned down the offer of a new three-year deal at Deepdale earlier this summer.

READ MORE: Sunderland's long-term vision and how they kept Chris Rigg

Browne has amassed over 400 appearances for the Lilywhites since joining from Cork City back in 2014. The Republic of Ireland international fits the profile of transfer target that sporting director Kristjaan Speakman outlined earlier this month.

“We have lost a Dack and we have lost an Evans over the summer, so we've always had those types of profiles in the squad,” he said. “So, if we can find positive profiles in the squad like those, then we'll always try to recruit.

“I think throughout our time here, we've signed players of a variety of ages, and players have had different impacts on the team and different impacts on performances.

“Last season, we might have signed another older player, but at the time, that deal didn't come off, and the next best option for us was a different player at a different age, so it's not something that we're putting a quota on, we're just interested in getting the right profiles in the right positions, but most of all, it has to be the right quality.”

Sunderland have lacked depth in the holding midfield role and the recent departure of club captain Corry Evans only increases the need for options in that area of the pitch.

The Black Cats have lacked a nous to see out games, and it's something new boss Regis Le Bris is keen on addressing this summer.

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“We are thinking about one or two more experienced players, who know the Championship very well, for example, and have high standards when it comes to training,” said Le Bris. “They can help dictate the way of playing and lead the team during the game.”

Norwood is another experienced midfielder who would fit that bill and has held talks with Black Cats chiefs following his release from Sheffield United.

Like Browne, Norwood also has options at other clubs. The 33-year-old is understood to have offers from the MLS but both players want to maintain playing at the highest level possible.