The Gossip: Full Backs Still A Priority

Paolo De Ceglie - Valerio Pennicino

Our weekly round-up of the latest Sunderland gossip is back for another week.

Despite the recent signing of Ondrej Celustka, bringing in a new full back is still top of the agenda and there are updates on some previously discussed transfer rumours.

Before we get to that, the updated list of players linked to Sunderland this summer:

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 (Fenerbache)
Wilfried Bony (Vitesse)
Grant Holt (Norwich)
Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)
Paulinho (Livorno)
Nacho Scocco (Al Ain)
Reto Ziegler (Juventus)
John Guidetti (Manchester City)
Josuha Guilavogui (Saint-Étienne)
Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli)
Luis Pedro Cavanda (Lazio)
Joseph Alfred Duncan (Inter Milan)
Alessandro Rosina (Siena)
Jonathan Biabiany (Parma)
Benjamin Mendy (Le Havre)
Scott Parker (Tottenham)
Johan Elmander (Galatassaray)
Abel Hernandez (Palermo)
Daniel Moberg Karlsson (IFK Göteborg)
Remi Gomis (Valenciennes)
Matej Vydra (Udinese)
Mejdi Traoui (Espérance de Tunis)
Jozy Altidore (AZ)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
Vito Mannone (Arsenal)
Jérémie Aliadière (Lorient)
Jeroen Zoet (PSV)
Ibrahima MBaye (Inter)
Daniel Bessa (Inter)
Gino Peruzzi (Vélez Sarsfield)
Callum McManaman (Wigan)
Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham)
Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Heerenveen)
Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth)
Chung-yong Lee (Bolton)
Robert Acquafresca (Bologna)
Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos)
Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus)
Przemyslaw Tyton (PSV)
Maxi Lopez (Catania)
Innocent Emeghara (Lorient)
Bastian Oczipka (Eintract Frankfurt)
Christiano Biraghi (Inter)
Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
Aly Cissokho (Valencia)
Luca Marrone (Juventus)
Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce)
Emil Hallfreðsson (Chievo)
Frederik Sorensen (Bologna)
Jorge Flores (Tigres)
Fabio Daprelà (Brescia)
Libor Kozák (Lazio)
Julio Buffarini (San Lorenzo)
Manuel Fernandes (Besiktas)
Walter Gargano (Napoli)
John Boye (Rennes)
Jires Kembo (Al Ain)
Loris Benito (ZUrich)
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Panathinaikos)
Zdravko Kuzmanović (Inter)
Cheikh M'Bengue (Toulouse)
Ondrej Celustka (Trabzonspor)
Danny Guthrie (Reading)
Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus)
Johan Larsson (Elfsborg)
Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)
Federico Peluso (Juventus)
Paolo De Ceglie (Juventus)
Armand Traore (Queens Park Rangers)
Sergio Floccari (Lazio)

Six new names this week, taking to our running total to 89 and with still two weeks to go until the transfer window closes, we are likely to be raising our bat before the window slams shut.

Five of the six new names are full backs, two right backs and three left backs but one of which we can probably discount immediately. That one being Arsenal right back, Carl Jenkinson, who was linked with a loan move to the Stadium of Light this week, but with the Gunners facing an injury crisis and the rumour originating from Sports Direct News, it's probably fair to put this one down as unlikely.

Next up is Johan Larsson, a 23-year-old full back for Swedish side Elfsborg. Larsson, who is no relation of Seb, was linked with Sunderland, Everton, PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar, Groningen and Heerenveen, with each club having scouts present at the Boras Arena in recent months to run the rule over the Sweden u-21 international. The player himself has admitted he feels ready to take the next step in his career but tempered that by saying he would like to experience a group stage in Europe with Elfsborg. Elfsborg's manager, Stefan Andreasson said there have been no concrete offers for Larsson and hope to keep him until at least January, so not a transfer we should expect in the immediate future but one to keep an eye on down the line.

Armand Traore was also linked with the club this week, although if there is any truth in that one, it's likely to be as an alternative if our current main target in that position falls through.

Speaking of which, after the club failed with a bid for the highly-rated Loris Benito, they reportedly switched their interest to Juventus left back pair, Federico Peluso and Paolo De Ceglie, the former only made his loan spell from Atalanta to Juve permanent in June and Antonio Conte vetoed any possible move for him but it's believed that the latter was Sunderland's preferred choice.

26-year-old De Ceglie, who has spent his entire career with the Italian champions (barring one year on loan at Siena), has actually been reported in the Italian press as agreeing terms with Sunderland on a contract worth €2m net per season and is just waiting for the two clubs to agree a transfer fee. Whether the transfer is as far along as that remains to be seen but the player is Sunderland's primary left back target at the moment and the club will hope to have him on board by the time we play Southampton next week.

The last new name on the list this week is Lazio striker Sergio Floccari. We mentioned earlier in the week how it was reported in the Italian press that we had made a bid worth €3m for a player who is 32 in November. His age would make this deal seem unlikely, especially at the rumoured price and, perhaps tellingly, there have been no further links with the player since the initial story broke. So probably one that can be discounted.

A few Sunderland transfer targets have slipped through our grasp this week, Tom Huddlestone signed for Hull City, J. Alfred Duncan is expected to seal a loan deal to Livorno after Inter Milan deciding against selling him and Liverpool agreed a deal to sign Valencia's Aly Cissokho, although it's believed Sunderland only made an enquiry for the player and were concentrating on their pursuit of the aforementioned Benito.

We could also miss out on Fabio Quagliarella, who is tempted to join Qatari club Al Gharafa after they offered him big money. The Qatar Stars League club are also willing to offer Juventus around €8m for the striker, as opposed to Sunderland's loan offer, with a view to a permanent move next summer.

Losing out on Quagliarella would be a particularly ironic blow, as he would be regarded as Stephane Sessegnon's replacement, who himself is being tempted by a big money move to Qatar. El Jaish, who need to sign a new striker after Christian Benitez suddenly and sadly died recently, were reported to have shown interest in the Benin international and reports emerged yesterday morning that suggest Sessegnon is due in Doha to finalize negotiations and formally sign a contract with Qatar's Army club.

That should be taken with a pinch of salt but with Di Canio's annoyance at Sessegnon's performance against Midjtylland and following that up with a lacklustre display against Fulham, any big money offer will surely tempt the club to cash in on the high earning 29-year-old.

That's your lot for another week. Remember you can keep up with all the stories as they happen via our DEDICATED SUNDERLAND TRANSFER CENTRE.

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