The Daily Star says Sunderland chiefs will discuss personal terms with representatives of Gibson and Brown in the next 24 hours, while a meeting with O'Shea's agent has been pencilled in for Friday. And manager Steve Bruce is ready to fl y back from holiday in Portugal to hold face-to-face talks with the players.
Gibson, 23, has spoken of his desire to join Sunderland in search of regular first-team football. But Bruce recognises that Brown, 31, and especially Irishman O'Shea, 30, may take some persuading to leave United, where they have both spent their entire careers.
But he believes he can convince them to sever their United ties.