Durham have enquired about the availability of South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for part of the 2016 season, reports BBC Newcastle.
The 20-year-old starred in the recent series defeat by England, taking 13 wickets in a victory in the final Test, and has 24 in six Tests in total.
Durham head coach Jon Lewis said he was exploring options to cover Australia all-rounder John Hastings.
Hastings, 30, is likely to be called up for the World T20 in March and April.
Penrith-born Hastings is also set to play in the Indian Premier League, and could miss further matches if he has surgery on an injured shoulder.
South Africa coach Russell Domingo told Cricinfo a spell in county cricket would be a "very good idea".
"It will benefit him massively," said Domingo. "He is still a young boy. He hasn't played a lot of four-day cricket and South Africa tour England in 2017.
"There is a big series there with Tests and a Champions Trophy, so whatever experience he can get beforehand will be beneficial for him and the team."