Sunderland set to end forward frustration
Sunderland, 9/4 for a top 10 finish, seem to finally be edging closer to more summer signings, as the clock ticks down on the transfer window.
Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has not been shy about his desire for further reinforcements, previously airing his disappointment at stalled deals, despite making seven signings.
Will Buckley and Jack Rodwell have recently arrived at the Stadium of Light in deals worth a combined £12.5m, but are only two of three fresh faces to command a fee.
Poyet is now linked with a trio of exciting acquisitions to bolster his squad, and add oomph to a somewhat impotent attack, which only managed to net 41 times last term, as Sunderland flirted with relegation.
Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck is heavily rumoured to be exiting Old Trafford, with Arsenal, Hull City, Tottenham and the Black Cats supposedly all vying for his services.
Having already apparently rejected the Tigers and former boss Steve Bruce’s overtures, Sunderland could swoop in and snap up the England international.
Welbeck is reported to want to move on to secure his Three Lions future, and Poyet would certainly be able to offer the versatile striker increased game time.
It is thought the Red Devils would be reluctant to sell one of their star academy products to a direct rival, which could prevent pacy forward Welbeck from moving to the Gunners or Spurs, leaving the door open for Sunderland to step in.
Wearside may be an attractive prospect for Welbeck, as the 23-year-old already knows the club well and remains a fan favourite, following a successful season-long loan on Wearside in 2010/11.
United manager Louis van Gaal was coy on Welbeck’s future, stating: “I know what I said to Danny and Danny knows exactly what I said to him. That is private.”
Poyet, meanwhile, was less reserved about his interest in the forward, saying: “He’s a player who myself and other managers are interested in. We need to wait. We haven’t made an approach.”
Believed to be priced at around £15m, Welbeck could be an alternative option to Italy attacker Fabio Borini, who also enjoyed a promising loan spell for the Black Cats, netting 10 goals last term.
With parent club Liverpool close to securing superstar Mario Balotelli on a permanent deal, the protracted Borini saga could finally be about to bear fruit for Poyet, but may just result in another temporary measure.
It is thought the 23-year-old former Chelsea forward is not keen on severing all ties with the Anfield giants yet, despite seemingly lacking a future at the club, and could return for another loan stint.
Speaking recently of the situation, Poyet said: “We keep trying. It’s difficult to put a deadline on it but we are getting close.”
Egypt wingman Mohamed Salah has also been mooted for a move to Wearside, after making just 11 appearances for Chelsea last season. The 22-year old Stamford Bridge star has recently been allowed to skip national service, and could provide a potent wide threat for the Black Cats.
In less encouraging news for Sunderland fans, who are 5/1 to see their club relegated this season, Poyet appears to have accepted defeat in his pursuit of Leeds United right back Sam Byram. The Yorkshire club are seemingly unwilling to part from one of their prize assets, unless the price is right.
The Uruguayan coach said: “I like him and I’ve known him for a long time. Like any young British player, they are sometimes too expensive.”