SUNDERLAND have not written off their interest in Jon Stead.
The First Division club's vice-chairman, John Fickling, says they are continuing to monitor the highly-rated 20-year-old despite having an initial £800,000 bid rejected.
Town manager Peter Jackson insists the telephone has been quiet on his 18-goal star since the transfer window opened for top-flight clubs.
Speculation on Wearside suggests the Black Cats may be waiting to see if Town's stance softens should they not receive a Premier League bid by the end of this month.
Fickling said: "Our interest in Jon Stead at Huddersfield is well documented and that is still ongoing. The initial bid was made and the clubs have stayed in touch.
"We still want to bring in someone of that ilk. Mick is continuously bringing in trialists and looking at loans. This is not us doing things on the cheap, this is the way football is going now.
"The days of the massive transfer fees have gone for most clubs. We have some money we can use by way of a fee if the right player comes along, but we have to spend wisely.
"We have learned to our cost that throwing money at it does not necessarily solve a problem."
Fickling declined to say whether Stead tops the shopping list at the Stadium of Light, but he did confirm they are keen to add to the squad.
"Mick McCarthy is very keen to strengthen. As a board, it is our job to try and help him do that," added Mr Fickling.
"In the case of a player like Stead, you are investing in the future as well as the present. He is a player Mick believes could come in a make an immediate impact and we can see him having a bright future.
"We are allowed to bring in eight loan players over the course of the season and that is also an avenue we can seek to pursue. We are not resting on our laurels just because we have had a good run."