Burnley want Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan to replace the departed Joey Barton.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche is eager to strengthen his midfield and is reportedly keen on a deal for Whelan, remaining hopeful that he can persuade his opposite number at Stoke Mark Hughes of selling the Republic of Ireland international.
The Sun claim Whelan is seen as the missing link by Dyche for his Burnley team as they look for a combative midfielder in the same mould as Joey Barton, who has left Turf Moor after receiving an 18-month ban from the Football Association after admitting a charge relating to gambling.
A deal could be made easier by the strong Irish presence already at Burnley, with Whelan's former Stoke teammate Jon Walters recently making the switch and joining Jeff Hendricks, Robbie Brady, Stephen Ward and Kevin Long.
Burnley face competition from Championship side Aston Villa for Whelan but the Villans do not want to pay a transfer fee and the 33-year-old remains keen of playing in the Premier League.
Burnley's transfer window has got off to a good start this summer with the signings of Leeds full-back Charlie Taylor and Stoke forward Walters, but they were set back in their effort to sign Nottingham Forest striker