The Gossip: O'Neill To 'Step Up' Interest In Top Striker Target

Thankfully we've loads of pictures we can use of Steven Fletcher. Here's another one of him scoring against us.

Right, so we made it through another week of the summer footballing void. How was it for you? If you did struggle a little do not despair too much - the friendlies start this week!

Next week we will be giving fans an extensive preview of the Peace Cup, as well as the usual usual plethora of opinion, debate, and analysis. But before that happens, lets check in with what the week's gossip columns have had to say for themselves with regarding Sunderland AFC.

Well, 'not a great deal' is the answer there, really.

Steven Fletcher (Wolves)
Victor Moses (Wigan)
Stephen Ward (Wolves)
Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)
Adam Johnson (Manchester City)
John Guidetti (Manchester City)
Wilifred Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)
Karl Henry (Wolves)
Jay Rodriguez (Burnley)
Hassan Hissein (Foullah Edifice)
Manuel Fernandes (Besitkas)
Jorge Fucile (Porto)
David Hoilett (Blackburn Rovers)
Robert Huth (Stoke)
Liam Trotter (Millwall)
Mohamed Diame (Wigan)
Carlos Cuellar (Free Agent)
Steven N'Zonzi (Blackburn)
Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson (Lillestrom)
Grant Holt (Norwich)
Jese (Real Madrid Castilla)
Steven Pienaar (Tottenham)
Danny Guthrie (Newcastle)
Joselu (Real Madrid Castilla)
Matt Jarvis (Wolves)
Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea)
Matt Phillips (Blackpool)
Zak Whitbread (Free Agent)
Steven Warnock (Aston Villa)
Moussa Kone (Atalanta)
Ola John (FC Twente)
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Stuttgart)
Ola Toivonen (PSV)
Alvaro Vazquez (Espanyol)
Yoan Gouffran (Bordeaux)
Luis Saha (Free Agent)
Keith Andrews (Free Agent)
Abdou Kader Mangane (Rennes)
Ibrahima Balde (Osasuna)
Kevin Doyle (Wolves)
Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos)
Burak Yilmaz (Trabzonspor)
Martin Olsson (Blackburn)
Siake Tiene (PSG)
Sylvain Armand (PSG)
Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting Lisbon)
Ivan Ramis (Real Mallorca)
Verun Anita (Ajax)
Hugo Rodallega (Free Agent)
Nathanial Clyne (Crystal Palace)

Just the two additions again (taking us past the half century barrier to 51 in total), and one of them very fleeting indeed. Certain reports at the beginning of the week had claimed that former Wigan striker and recent free agent Huga Rodallega was considering an offer from Sunderland, but by the end of the week he had signed on the dotted line for Fulham. No massive loss.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace's highly rated young right back Nathanial Clyne was an interesting link. The player is out of contract at Selhurst Park and has decided to seek pastures new this summer. Whilst he would certainly fit the bill for the kind of exciting and dynamic modern full back than most of us would love to see at Sunderland, it would seem and odd and tenuous link. After all, the club are not short of right back competition with John O'Shea, Phil Bardsley, Carlos Cuellar, Wes Brown, and Craig Gardner already at the club. Can never rule it out, but it isn't one we are taking especially seriously.

Additionally, it is only really the Newcastle media claiming that Sunderland have an interest in Clyne. We are not one for conspiracy theories, but it looks an awful lot like they are trying to set up another nice convenient story of a player 'rejecting' Sunderland for Newcastle like they did with Papiss Cissé.

Once again, it was the name of Steven Fletcher that really dominated the speculation. Reports of Sunderland 'stepping up' their interest have been pretty widespread this week, and have coincided with new Wolves boss Stale Solbakken seemingly inviting offers for the player.

Elsewhere, reports have claimed that David Hoilett's future will lay away from Wearside too. The club have courted him all summer, but QPR and Borussia Mönchengladbach appear to be those willing to offer the kind of wages that will secure his services. It still isn't one we are ruling out entirely, however, and if he does go elsewhere it will likely see interest stepped up in other targets, so the sooner he signs for someone - anyone - the better it will be for Sunderland you feel.

That is about all there is to report, really. A quiet week. Perhaps the media are too busy reporting on actual transfers and news now that clubs are back in training and managers back at their desks. Those managers include Martin O'Neill, and he told the Sunderland Echo that things may be about to move on the transfers front.

"I have made one or two enquiries, but I have not progressed anything greatly at this moment. Now I will start to develop things a bit more. There are players who I would certainly be prioritising and those are the ones I would genuinely like to get, if at all possible."

Lets hope his inquiries prove fruitful.

See you next week with another round-up.

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