Sunderland strikers Steven Fletcher and Jozy Altidore were the subject of January interest, Gus Poyet has confirmed, though neither of the misfiring pair really ever looked likely to leave Wearside.
In fact, the shenanigans surrounding the line of enquiry over the players just seems to have annoyed Poyet really. He told reporters:
You know what? I’ve got no problem with making offers.
I’ve got a problem with people calling, and asking if players are available. I hate that.
It’s impossible that I’m going to say someone, even for a player that is not playing, that they are ‘available’.
The idea is if you want a player, make a proper offer between the two clubs.
Then we will analyse it, you can see the options, and get different opinions.
We had plenty of enquiries for Jozy or Fletcher, but they were asking ‘are you thinking of selling?’ or ‘can we loan him?
I think that Poyet has pretty much summed up the modern day fan's perplexity with the transfer market. It almost seems like everything is a loan these days.
You can understand it to a certain extent. In the era of Financial Fair Play, getting money off the the wage bill before you bring someone new in is pretty much a necessity. If you can get another team to pay one of your players, then it is obviously appealing. From the 'buying' point of view, too, why not take advantage of the situation to try before you buy?
But I think that for fans it is difficult, and often serves to create a willing disconnect from the terraces. We have seen some very good players on loan at Sunderland over the years such as Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck and Danny Rose, yet had to watch them all return to their clubs and never really look back.
Even now, two of the most consistent players in the Sunderland squad - Ki Sung-Yueng and Fabio Borini - are only on loan. With each passing temporary transfer, it is becoming more and more tough to allow yourself to form any kind of attachment.
I suppose it's just the nature of the game these days. May be I am yearning for a by-gone era, getting old.
Anyway, pretty pleased neither striker ended up leaving.