Today in transfers: Cardozo to Foxes, Sunderland seek stoppers
Leicester City, 11/5 with Coral to be relegated from next season’s Premier League, are interested in signing Benfica and Paraguay target man Oscar Cardozo.
The 31-year-old, who has been at the Portuguese giants since the summer of 2007, has a fantastic record against English teams when he has come up against them in European competition.
Foxes boss Nigel Pearson will be targeting a marquee signing, as he steered the East Midlands outfit back into the top-flight for the first time in a decade. Cardozo won a domestic treble at the Estadio da Luz, after Benfica dominated Portuguese club football this term.
A new challenge may lure him to the King Power Stadium, but his current employers want a reported fee of £12m if Leicester are to land their man. Pearson has already made several summer signings, and is also interested in Cardiff City forward Fraizer Campbell.
Sunderland, 5/1 shots for the drop next term, meanwhile, are looking for a couple of goalkeepers to bolster Gus Poyet’s squad. The two names linked with the Black Cats are free agents Costel Pantilimon and Julian Speroni.
Rangy Romanian stopper Pantilimon, 27, briefly displaced Joe Hart from between the sticks at the Etihad this season as Manuel Pellegrini dropped the England number one last autumn after a period of poor form.
Crystal Palace Player of the Season Speroni, 35, may yet be offered a new deal to extend his stay at Selhurst Park, and has given 10 years of loyal service to the Eagles. Sunderland have released Keiren Westwood and Oscar Ustari, so Poyet’s only senior stopper on the Stadium of Light books is Vito Mannone.
In other news, Championship play-off winners QPR, 13/8 to go straight back down, want to sign maverick attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison on a permanent basis from London rivals West Ham.
England Under-21 international Morrison scored six goals that bolstered the Hoops’ promotion push under Harry Redknapp, who must also decide if he wants to buy other loan players like Niko Kranjcar, Kevin Doyle and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
And finally, Newcastle United, 50/1 chances to crash next season’s top four, are weighing up a swoop for free agent Steve Sidwell after he was released by Fulham.
The former Chelsea and Aston Villa midfielder was top scorer at Craven Cottage as the west London outfit endured relegation under Felix Magath. Sidwell was signed by Magpies manager Alan Pardew for Reading in January 2003, so they have worked together before.