Ajax Amsterdam have refused to confirm that they have agreed a £7 million deal with Sunderland for the signature of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2001. Reports in Sweden claim Black Cats boss Peter Reid has turned his attention to the gifted 20-year-old as his protracted search for a striker goes on. After being snubbed by Robbie Keane, Rangers marksman Tore Andre Flo and Ibrahimovic have emerged as the main contenders as Reid desperately looks for a new striker before the August 31 deadline. Ibrahimovic arrived at the Amsterdam ArenA from Malmo with a big reputation but his undoubted talent has been shown in fits and spurts in Holland, and coach Ronald Koeman is now thought to be ready to part with the enigmatic attacker. An Ajax spokesman issued a "no comment" to planetfootball when questioned about the matter while the player's agent, Anders Carlsson, and Sunderland have been playing with a straight bat. The tall Swede refused to rule out a transfer to the Stadium of Light and may now ponder the move, although he has always maintained his happiness at Ajax. "At the moment the coach Ronald Koeman has said that it is 50-50 between me and Mido", Ibrahimovic told Expressen. "At the moment I am leaning in the direction of staying at Ajax, but you never know what will happen".The retirement of Niall Quinn has left Sunderland short of firepower up front and Reid wants a front-man to take some of the goalscoring burden off Kevin Phillips.