At the end of the January transfer window, Sunderland were frantically trying to get a striker through the door to replace Josh Maja.
Bordeaux had snapped up Maja from Sunderland, while Watford loanee Jerome Sinclair was recalled and sent to Oxford United.
Among the names mentioned was Jonson Clarke-Harris (as per The West Sussex Gazette) with Coventry City willing to let him go.
This move failed to materialise with Clarke-Harris heading to relegation-threatened Bristol Rovers, while Sunderland snapped up Will Grigg and Kazaiah Sterling.
Since his move to Bristol Rovers, Clarke-Harris has been in top form. The 24-year-old has scored five goals in seven games to lead their survival bid.
Clarke-Harris has a distinctive style of play, acting as a target man and using his strength and power to dominate in the air and bring others into the game.
In that sense, he has a similar role to Charlie Wyke, who moved to Sunderland last summer from Bradford City.
But Sunderland fans have been frustrated by Wyke, who has netted just twice in 17 games this season. Many matches have passed him by and he has looked ineffective at times.
If Jack Ross wanted a physical centre-forward as an alternative option to Grigg, then Clarke-Harris could have been an upgrade on Wyke.