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Rumour mill: Sunderland strengthen spine with Coates and King

Sunderland, 9/4 with Coral for a top 10 Premier League finish, are far from done in the transfer market, even though there’s less than a week before the window closes.

Tabloid reports claim they are chasing a season-long loan move for Liverpool’s Uruguay international centre back Sebastian Coates, a compatriot of Black Cats boss Gus Poyet, and a permanent switch for Leicester City and Wales midfielder Andy King.

Coates, 23, has seen his Anfield career wrecked by injuries and was loaned back to former club Nacional last term. The 6ft 5in Uruguayan is also of Scottish descent, but has managed to play just 24 senior first-team games for the Reds since joining them in August 2011.

Wearside outfit Sunderland are short of central defensive options, with Poyet keen to offload French player Modibo Diakite, who has not been issued a squad number. That leaves Argentina cap Santiago Vergini, used at right back throughout his loan spell at the Stadium of Light; Valentin Roberge, another Paolo Di Canio signing like Diakite; skipper John O’Shea and Wes Brown to choose from.

Any temporary move for Coates means Poyet will have to buy his Liverpool teammate Fabio Borini, who spent last season on loan with the Black Cats, outright with hopes of a £14m deal still held before the transfer window slams shut on September 1st.

The likes of Danny Welbeck, reportedly valued by Manchester United at £15m, and former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou are alternative targets for Sunderland to bolster their attacking options.

King, 25, meanwhile, could be surplus to requirements at East Midlands outfit Leicester once their injury crisis ebbs and if boss Nigel Pearson lands long-time target Esteban Cambiasso. He is the only fully fit Foxes midfield player for their Capital One Cup second round clash at home to Shrewsbury Town.

Poyet is understood to be keen on recruiting a scoring midfielder as this area contributed just 10 in the Premier League last term. Each of Sunderland’s strikes this season so far have come from their engine room, but two were surprise sources Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell.

King, who is also being chased by QPR and West Bromwich Albion and has netted one shy of 50 goals in almost 250 league appearances for Leicester, fits the bill nicely. The Black Cats are 5/1 to be relegated this season.