The Gossip: Sunderland Linked With Move For England Striker

Defoe: Latest striker to be linked with Sunderland, but is the link a realistic one?

Due to pre-season frivolities out in Korea, we are back a day earlier than usual to run you through the week's Sunderland transfer gossip.

With just four weeks to go before the big kick off against Arsenal, friendlies coming thick and fast, season tickets falling through letter boxes, and new kits released, the new season is starting to feel tantalizingly close.

So lets update our list of players to have been linked with a summer move to Sunderland so far and have a closer look at a couple of the new additions.

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)
Junior 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)
Vurnon Anita (Ajax)
Hugo Rodallega (Free Agent)
Nathenial Clyne (Crystal Palace)
Tongo Hamed Doumbia (Rennes)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
James Collins (Aston Villa)

First, the formalities. For those counting we are now up to 54 names with only Carlos Cuellar now a Sunderland player and 6 weeks left until the transfer window closes.

Of the new names on our list, that of Jermain Defoe is easily the most noteworthy. Several news sources have linked the England man with Sunderland this week, with the Daily Star claiming O'Neill is battling Stoke to secure his signature.

I think that Defoe is the kind of clinical penalty box striker a lot of fans would like to see the club sign this summer, but it seems highly unlikely to us. Lets just assume that the player would be willing to make the move north, would a player of his ilk even fit in?

O'Neill has stated his determination to keep Stephane Sessegnon already, and this week claimed that the forward he wants is someone who can 'lead the line'. Does Defoe fit that remit? It would seem clear that a forward who can offer some physical presence and a platform from which the rest of the team can play is what O'Neill is targeting to play alongside Stephane Sessegnon, and Defoe is really more of a final ball forward in the Darren Bent mould.

Meanwhile, the James Collins link would appear to be a lazy one too. The Sunderland squad is certainly not short on experienced centre backs. Although it must be said that the report seemed to suggest that Villa hoped Sunderland would sign him, not that they actually wanted him.

We'll see you next week with another update.

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