Stu Forster

Transfer Deadline Day Live Blog

Transfer deadline day is here and we're covering anything and everything related to Sunderland in our live blog. Why not join us for all the latest snippets of information and rumours as the best/worst day of the year is upon us!

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17 Total Updates since January 31, 2013
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Transfer Deadline Day Wrap Up

So much speculation fed through on transfer deadline day in the early part, but eventually after all that it was just one in and one out on the busiest day of the year.


Karpin: McGeady Unlikely To Leave Spartak

With the out-going loan of Ahmed Elmohamady to Hull City there has been ramped up speculation about a potential late move for Aiden McGeady. This is starting to look increasingly unlikely.

Spartak played a friendly game today against Bunyodkor Tashkent, winning 2-1 in Abu Dhabi where the side are undergoing some warm weather training.

Post-match, Spartak manager Valery Karpin told reporters that any chance of the Irishman leaving the club was unlikely;

In all likelihood he will not leave.

This despite the fact McGeady was left out of the starting lineup and off the substitutes bench as Karpin shuffled the pack against the Uzbek outfit.

Whether or not McGeady being left out is because he's conducting business with ourselves, or simply just the manager's decision who knows. They do have another friendly in four days time, their last in the UAE, where a potentially stronger side will be put out by Karpin.

We can live in hope, but this development would suggest that to get any deal done there's plenty of work to do.


Elmo Heads Back To Hull

In a somewhat interesting development, Ahmed Elmohamady has rejoined Hull City on loan for the rest of the season.

The winger was recently recalled from the KC Stadium and thrown back into the Sunderland matchday squad, and Martin O'Neill later insisted it was highly unlikely he would be allowed to leave again whilst the squad was so stretched for numbers.

So the question must be, what has changed?

With plenty of time left to squeeze in another signing, this will surely, and understandably, lead to speculation that O'Neill is close to pulling a late rabbit out of the hat.

Who, or even what, that could be is anyone's guess right now. Local press reports have been insistent that a new right back has been on the agenda, but Elmohamady is principally an attacking player and it is very much in that area where Sunderland are looking short given the departures of Louis Saha, Fraizer Campbell, and the apparent likely loan exit of James McFadden.

The fact it is a loan deal makes it especially curious, given the player could have left for the Championship on loan after the deadline.

It would be fair to say that this is a departure that has very much ignited a little deadline day interest on Wearside. Only time will tell if it is warranted.


Saha Becomes A Free Agent

In an expected move, the club have confirmed that Louis Saha's contract has been ended by mutual consent, and he has finally left the club to become a free agent. The former French international made 16 appearance in his time at the club, with only two of those being from a starting position.

As we've all been expecting this one for a while there's not a great deal to add. While we thought he might be able to chip in with a few goals off the bench, Saha just never looked like he had the fitness or stamina to play at the top level anymore, and this move is the best for all parties.

Saha always seemed to be a very nice chap, exemplified by how easy he's made the ending of his contract, so it's a shame that it didn't work out. We wish him all the best for the future, and hope that he finds a club more suited to his level at this stage in his career.


'No More Signings Expected' Says David Craig

Sky Sports' North East correspondent David Craig, standing from his position perched outside Sunderland's training ground freezing his knackers off, presumably questioning the futility of life and wondering why he never followed his dream of becoming a concert pianist, has said that he doesn't expect any more new faces to arrive at Sunderland today following the signing of Danny Graham earlier this afternoon.

It's possible that Craig's only saying this because his legs hurt, and he thinks Sky will send him home for the day if they think nothings going to happen, but this seems unlikely. The news will no doubt disappoint many Sunderland fans, who would have at least expected one more face to come in today, especially considering Danny Graham is effectively just a replacement for the strikers who have left this transfer window.

It's possible that someone else may arrive today, and O'Neill did surprise us with a couple of deals this time last year, but at the very least it looks as if Danny Graham will be the biggest move of the day from a Sunderland perspective.


CONFIRMED: Graham Signs For Sunderland

After a little bit of stress earlier today on the subject with Middlesborough making a bid and having it accepted, Danny Graham is now 110% a Sunderland player.

The North East native has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium Of Light, and will be available to face Reading on Saturday at the Madjeski Stadium.

Obviously the move comes on the back of some vocal criticism from some sections of the support, however Graham has shown tremendous courage to sign, and it's something he addressed in speaking to the club's official website;

As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table.

I was born and brought up in the north east so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world - it's special and there's nowhere else like it.

Of course, I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I've always given 100% no matter what team I play for and no matter who I play against.

It's up to me to show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt and I'm excited about playing for a club as big as this.

I'm really excited about the future - this is a new phase of my career and I can't wait to get started.

We're very much looking forward to seeing Graham in action. A little known fact is that he actually scored more goals than Steven Fletcher last season in all competitions, so he should provide some excellent depth to the position.

Whether or not any further additions come through the doors today remains to be seen, but either way it appears our biggest business of the day has been done.


PHOTO: Danny Graham A Sunderland Player

With deadline day really warming up, it appears that Sunderland have secured a new recruit, with Danny Graham being snapped in a Sunderland shirt.


The deal has yet to be confirmed yet, and knowing Sunderland likely won't be until everything is absolutely water tight.

But it seems inconceivable now that the deal will fall through given we are now at the stage of completing the media formalities.

Earlier in the day, it was claimed that Middlesbrough had sneaked in with a bid for Graham, though that was quickly denied and it always seemed likely that the former-Watford man would join Sunderland before the end of the day.

Whether or not he will be joined at The Stadium of Light by any further recruits today is very much unknown. There have been names bandied around but little more than rumour in truth.

Though with O'Neill often lamenting a lack of numbers in his squad this month and Graham doing no more than essentially replacing Fraizer Campbell, then you'd be surprised - and a little disappointed - if there were no more deadline day arrivals.


Ryan Noble Not Moving To Hearts

Hell is temporarily off as Ryan Noble's proposed season-long loan deal to Scottish Premier League side Hearts is dead.

It had been speculated earlier this week that Noble was a target of the Edinburgh based side, but with Noble not overly keen on the move and exploring other options in English football, Hearts manager John McGlynn declared his interest over;

It would be fair to say he's no longer an option.

It's been made clear that Noble's future lies elsewhere as the Academy Of Light gets set for a significant summer re-shuffle, with the likes of he, Adam Reed and Craig Lynch all set for the exit.

Noble must have heard of interest elsewhere as despite money problems at Hearts, a move to the Scottish Premier League would surely have held more appeal than League One or League Two football, where thus far in his career he's failed to make a significant impact on various loan deals.


Wigan Move For Two Sunderland "Targets"

Wigan are emerging as quite the contenders for our supposed transfer targets today as they have made significant in-roads towards Paul Scharner and Barnsley teenager John Stones.

A deal for Scharner was mooted towards the end of last week, although it mainly appeared to be on the suggestion of Hamburg rather than anyone from Sunderland saying anything. Martin O'Neill was quick to deny any interest in the aging former West Bromwich Albion midfielder-come-defender.

Meanwhile several press outlets, including in our local area, have credited Sunderland with a move for Stones, who is adept at both right-back and central defence -- two positions were we do need to kick on.

Wigan have had a £3m bid accepted by Barnsley for him, which puts him a little out of our price range. Of course, we gave big money away for Connor Wickham, but he was slightly more of a known commodity than Stones.

Either way, two things are for certain -- neither are signing for Sunderland, and hopefully this is the last time we have to talk about Wigan today.


Martinez: Wigan Not Moving For McGeady

In an update to the Aiden McGeady rumours it looks very much like he won't be signing for Wigan Athletic.

Such is the twisty and turn-y (that's a technical term, right?) nature of the transfer deadline day, things opened with suggestions that the Latics were in pole position to sign the Irish international, however this was later rebuked by several outlets.

Now Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has waded in, insisting the deal for McGeady won't be happening;

Aiden McGeady is a top player but he's not a realistic target. It cannot happen.

Whether or not Sunderland hold any firm interest in McGeady remains to be seen, but O'Neill did mention after the Swansea game that he had a "couple of bids" in for players, and it has been widely reported that he's an admirer of McGeady, and the player himself fancies a shot at the Premier League sooner rather than later.

McGeady is currently in the UAE with Spartak Moscow, so any deal would have to be pushed through very quickly. Still, it remains one to keep an eye on.


Boro Now Out Of Graham Running

It looks as if Danny Graham's representatives have been watching Sky Sports News.

After it was reported that Middlesbrough had stolen a march on the pursuit of the Swansea frontman, by agreeing a fee in the region of £5m with the South Wales side.

Sky had been put straight, as David Craig announced that Graham's first club was no longer in the reckoning - leaving Sunderland as the front and seemingly only runners at present. Craig however also told the cameras that Sunderland do not have permission yet to speak to the striker.

It seems very much though that to back up earlier reports, Graham has no intention of going anywhere other than Sunderland. Having worked incredibly hard to get up through the divisions and into the Premier League it's unlikely that he was ever going to drop down again. 'Boro look good for promotion, but it's far from a certainty. Sunderland can obviously offer him that, and regular game time.

Keep here at Roker Report to see if Martin O'Neill finally lands his man.


Graham Headed To Teeside?

According to Sky Sports News, Sunderland's Danny Graham pursuit could be in danger due to unexpected interest from his former club Middlesbrough.

It has been reported that, although Graham and his agent are in the north east waiting to speak to Sunderland, no fee has been agreed yet with the Black Cats and 'Boro have stolen a march on their rivals.

Whether or not it will prove to be a decisive development remains to be seen, but it would appear that we are about to find out just how serious Martin O'Neill is about recruiting the Swansea striker.

There is little realistic prospect of the Teesiders outbidding Sunderland, and they can't offer the lure of Premier League football either. There is always the possibility too, of course, that it is no more than a bluff from somewhere designed to shake away a stalemate in negotiations.

Despite the development, with so much time left to run on deadline day, you'd still consider Sunderland favourites to get their man - if they want him enough.


Fee Agreed For Graham, Today's Only Deal?

According to the local press Danny Graham will definitely be a Sunderland player by the end of the day today, with the Sunderland Echo going as far as claiming a fee has been agreed and he will undergo a medical today.

There's not expected to be any hitches to the deal according to the paper, meaning those that booed him so vehemently on Tuesday have failed in their task and will be likely considering their position on him.

Curiously they also suggest that this will be our only deal done today, while Sky Sports's David Craig who's parked himself outside the Stadium Of Light suggests it's a case of "Something old, new and borrowed" at the Academy Of Light today.

On previous form you'd probably back the Echo here, but we can still hopeful or more as there's sure to be a million and one more transfer stories coming out today.

The fee agreed for Graham is reportedly in the region of £5.5m, without Connor Wickham being used as a makeweight in the deal which was suggested yesterday. Straight up, cash-money deal.

Graham will be a solid addition to the squad, and at 27-years old still has plenty of football left in him, and time to sway some ill-informed opinions.

Combine this with Norwich City looking at every other striker barring Graham after showing some interest a few days ago, you can almost take the signing of Graham to the bank.

Follow all the action from Deadline Day HERE in our Live Blog.


Wigan Emerging As Early Favourites For McGeady

Another story to track early on this morning will be the Aiden McGeady story. McGeady has long been a favourite of Martin O'Neill's but has yet to striker a deal with Spartak Moscow. Several reports are coming out now that Wigan Athletic though are the ones closest to signing the Irish international.

Stories in The Mirror and on several Russian websites suggest that the Lancashire side are in pole position to strike a deal for him, although any move by anyone would take quite some exceptional work.

McGeady has said for a while that he fully expects to leave Spartak sooner rather than later, and reuniting with Martin O'Neill may hold a little more weight with him as opposed to a relegation dogfight with Wigan Athletic. If indeed we are in for him.

McGeady is currently in the UAE with Spartak undergoing some warm-weather training, so any negotiations would require a hell of a lot of phone calls to get things done. Luckily he's at least a known entity to everyone so we wouldn't be taking as much of a chance.

However, all reports suggest that Wigan are very much the front-runners to make this deal happen at the moment, and it's another early story to watch with great intrigue today.

Follow all the action from Deadline Day in our Live Blog, HERE.


Sunderland Running Unopposed For Graham

It would seem that Danny Graham is ours for the taking early today on Deadline Day after Norwich -- our main opponents for his signature -- appear to be looking at options elsewhere.

Having already added Sporting Kansas City striker Kei Kamara subject to international clearances, numerous reports suggest the East Anglian side have had a third bid rejected for Celtic striker Gary Hooper, and are also trying to make a deal for Leeds United striker Luciano Becchio.

If they manage to add one of this pair it would appear that any interest in Graham would soon come to an end, if indeed it hasn't ended already through the signing of Kamara.

Graham is seemingly our player for the taking if we can make a deal, but work needs to be done on meeting his asking price with Swansea City, and of course we have to hope that some of the numbskulls who decided to chant that he was 'scum' the other night haven't put off a player who like it or not, would very much improve our striking options.

Follow all today's transfer tittle-tattle in our Deadline Day Live Blog, HERE.

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