Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell says he would welcome Wickham back on a temporary basis, but has revealed Black Cats boss Bruce has rebuffed the idea.
He said: "I spoke with Steve the other day and we were chatting about various things.
"I thought he probably needed another year in the Championship and I said to Steve if they wanted to loan him back, we would take him. He, very cleverly, went on to another subject.
"They bought him and he hasn't played but he might catch fire. He has certainly got the attributes and he is a man in body. But, football-wise, he is a boy."