Sunderland failed in an attempt to sign Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso before the end of the summer transfer window, according to L’Équipe.
The 34-year-old rejected the opportunity to return to England, where he had a short loan spell with Crystal Palace as a youngster.
Carrasso is still looking to make his first appearance of this season after a knee injury picked up in January kept him out of action for four months.
When questioned on the subject of a bid from Sunderland, he told L’Équipe: “Yes, during the last moments, but it wasn’t the time.
“I returned from injury and there were other things to do.”
The Black Cats are in need of reinforcements between the sticks as Jordan Pickford is their only fit senior keeper, following an injury to Vito Mannone, which will keep him sidelined for three months.
Pickford will act as Sunderland’s first choice keeper, although the 22-year-old was at fault for Southampton’s equaliser during their 1-1 draw against the Saints in their last Premier League outing.
Sunderland manager David Moyes also failed in a late deadline day swoop for Boavista keeper Mike Domingues, with the necessary paperwork for the deal not completed before the 11pm window.