The Gossip: Sunderland Turn Attention To Strikers

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Time to take our weekly check on the Sunderland transfer gossip, with attacking players beginning to dominate the agenda.

Last season's Sunderland summer snore-fest feels like a distant memory right now. This time around the club have been ferociously busy, apparently tying up deals already with a plethora of new names linked.

First of all, the formalities.

Valentin Roberge (Maritimo)
Mobido Diakite (Lazio)
Diogo Viana (F.C. Penafiel)
Danny Rose (Tottenham)
Emmanuel Cascione (Pescara)
Danilo D'Ambrosio (Torino)
El Hadji Ba (Le Havre)
Mauro Zarate (Lazio)
Bas Dost (Wolfsburg)
George Mandjeck (Auxerre)
Charlie Austin (Burnley)
Alfred Finnbogason (SC Heerenveen)
Greg Sandomierski (Genk)
Tom Allan (York City)
Salif Sane (Nancy)
Cabral (Basel)
Lucas Orban (Tigre)
Gary Hooper (Celtic)
Fraser Forster (Celtic)
Milos Krasic (Celtic)
Wilfried Bony (Vitesse)
Grant Holt (Norwich)
Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)

22 names have already made our list, and considering our standards of credibility are higher than most, that is quite some number for the first week of June.

It has been widely reported that four of those players are already essentially in the bag. Sky Sports News are insistent that Sunderland have beaten off competition from Inter to secure the signature of Lazio defender Mobido Diakite, whilst Basel themselves appear to have confirmed Sunderland's Cabral capture.

It is being widely reported all over that the Bosman signatures of Valentine Roberge and El Hadji Ba are also a mere formality at this point.

Now it seems that Di Canio is turning his attention to attacking players. Fenerbache's exciting Serbian winger Milos Krasic named Sunderland as an interested party, whilst the Guardian tentatively - and ludicrously - linked the club with a move for Norwich's Grant Holt. We are dismissing that one though. Frankly going round punching horses makes more sense.

The Journal is claiming a string of striker targets, however. Andreas Weimann of Aston Villa is among them, though that is a difficult one to see happening. Celtic's Gary Hooper and Vitesse's Wilfried Bony are interesting links, however. Bony in particular is a tantilising name, though the Ivorian is sure to have many admirers this summer and whether Sunderland are prepared to spend the required sum to beat off competition for him remains doubtful at this point.

There is also predictably a lot of goalkeeper chatter, with Simon Mignolet linked with both Liverpool and Arsenal. Sunderland seem determined to keep hold of him and he himself doesn't seem to be in much of a rush to leave, but multiple sources are naming Celtic's Fraser Forster as Di Canio's contingency plan.

One of the more random names is that of Lucas Orban. The Argentinian left back - who was reported to have caught the eye of new chief scout Valentino Angeloni last season when the Italian was at Inter - is said to have been the subject of a bid from Sunderland.

One man who will not be moving to the Stadium of Light this summer, however, is Salif Sane. The defender has completed a move to Hannover.

In terms of outgoings, Ji Dong-won seems to be a wanted man with a queue of German clubs looking to keep him in the Bundesliga. Augsburg remain interested, though their option to turn his loan into a permanent deal has now expired.

That will probably just about do it for this week! Remember you can keep your eye on stories as they happen via our DEDICATED SUNDERLAND TRANSFER CENTRE.

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