Everton manager David Moyes has confirmed he is keen to buy Gavin McCann, but revealed Sunderland's asking price has hampered his attempts.
McCann left Everton in 1998
Moyes has enquired over the 25-year old's availability but cash-strapped Sunderland are keen to recoup as much money as possible following their relegation to Division One.
The Everton boss is still on the lookout for a midfielder after failing in his bid to sign Fulham's Sean Davis and is a keen admirer of McCann.
"He's a player that I have made an enquiry about but at the present time the price that's being asked for him is too much," said Moyes.
"That's how it is but he is a player that we admire and it's true that we are interested in Gavin.
"I think everyone is trying to make some moves (in the transfer market) and we're no exception," he told the club's official website.
McCann left Goodison Park in 1998 to join Sunderland in a £500,000 deal and has blossomed at the Stadium of Light, claiming a place in the England squad back in 2001.