The Sunday Mirror says Black Cats boss Steve Bruce is hoping to succeed where one of his former clubs Birmingham failed on transfer deadline day by persuading Hoops boss Tony Mowbray to part with the much-coveted Republic of Ireland winger.
Mowbray insisted in January that McGeady wasn't for sale, but that could change in the close season as Mowbray looks to raise funds for an ambitious rebuilding programme.
Bruce is determined to improve the Black Cats quality in the wide midfield positions and had tracked Sunderland-born Johnson all season. He had been optimistic about landing Johnson, personally running the rule over him eight days ago in Middlesbrough's 0-0 draw with Bristol City.
But he couldn't compete with moneybags Manchester City. They paid £6m for the England Under-21 international, whose Riverside contract was up in June.