Cats To Kick-Start Left Back Search

Alex Grimm

It appears to be back to the drawing board for Sunderland in their eternal search for a left back.

Sunderland are ready to restart the hunt for a new left back after hitting a frustrating brick wall with their initial targets.

There has been no shortage of transfer talk on Wearside this summer but - not for the first time - specialist left backs have proven annoying elusive. There is little sign of any genuine effort to bring Danny Rose back to the club, at least for the time being, whilst Benjamin Mendy opted to join Marseille.

Another long-standing target, Lucas Orban, appears to be no closer to deciding his future, though the Tigre defender seems to be leaning towards remaining in Argentina for at least another year.

That has left Sunderland very much back to square one with regard the left back position with a fresh list of names being drawn up.

Reports in Italy on Friday credited the Black Cats with an interest in Inter Milan youngster Cristiano Biraghi, though if those reports are accurate it would be difficult to envisage him being seen as an instant solution given the sum of his league experience currently amounts to two loan spells in Serie B with Cittadella.

The Journal, meanwhile, claims that Eintracht Frankfurt's Bastian Oczipka features heavily in Sunderland's thoughts. However, the 24-year-old German enjoyed a brilliant season for the Bundesliga's surprise package last season and surely wouldn't come cheap.

One possible way to lower that price could be to offer Ji Dong-won in some way given the Korean's stock is currently high in Germany after a successful loan spell at Augsburg. That is merely speculation on our part, and he is thought to be rated by the new Sunderland recruitment team, but with his contract having just a year to run and no indications he is happy to extend his stay it could be an avenue the club will consider exploring.

So once again frustration seems to be winning out in Sunderland's apparent eternal search for a left back. We can probably all take heart from the fact that there is at least sufficient depth of knowledge at the club now to ensure no shortage of ideas.

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