The Gossip: Five Linked - Interest In Captain?

Time once again to take a look at the week's news and rumours.

Sunderland confirmed another new signing this week, a released youngster found a new club and there is plenty of transfer news to go over but before we take an in-depth look at the week's transfer news, our updated list of players to be linked with Sunderland during this transfer window:

Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)
Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (Stade Rennais)
Santiago Vergini (Estudiantes)
Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina)
Caner Erkin (Fenerbache)
Gordan Bunoza (Wisla Krakow)
Will Buckley (Brighton)
Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa)
Raul Meireles (Fenerbache)
Matt Grimes (Exeter)
Josh McEachran (Chelsea)
Diego Capel (Sporting Lisbon)
Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff)
Fabio Borini (Liverpool)
Martin Kelly (Liverpool
Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce)
Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon)
Ever Banega (Valencia)
Jordon Mutch (Cardiff)
Daniele Dessena (Cagliari)
Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos)
Christopher Forrester (St Pats.)
Billy Jones (West Brom)
Jordi Gomez (Wigan)
Costel Pantilimon (Man City)
Michael Mancienne (Hamburg)
Kevin Chaurand (Celaya)
Luis Pedro Cavanda (Lazio)
Ashley Williams (Swansea)
Tom Ince (Blackpool)
Luca Cigarini (Atalanta)
William Vainqueur (Standard Liege)
Luciano Vietto (Racing Club)
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Ajax)
Paulinho (Livorno)
Curtis Davies (Hull)
Ross McCormack (Leeds)
Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa)
Morgan Amalfitano (Marseille)
Rene Adler (Hamburg)
Bryan Ruiz (Fulham)

Five new names have been added to the list this week, taking our running total to 41.

Sunderland confirmed the signing of Romanian goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon this week, with the 27-year-old signing a four-year deal after arriving on a free transfer.

Pantilimon will provide competition to Vito Mannone who established himself as the club's first choice goalkeeper last season but the 6'8" Romanian international has made it clear that he didn't join Sunderland to warm the bench;

I spoke to Mr [Victor] Piturca [Romanian National Team manager] recently. It was very important for me to play every game, and now I have found this solution [moving to Sunderland].

I want very much to return to the national team.

To be first choice is very important to me, and that's why I chose a club where I was wanted and where I had a chance to play.

[Vito] Mannone is a good keeper, who played well in the previous season, but my goal is to earn my place in the team. I'll give everything, I'll work hard to be a regular for Sunderland.

That being said, it's still hoped that Mannone will sign a new contract at Sunderland with Gus Poyet hoping the signing of the Romanian provides real competition for places between the two senior goalkeepers. The signing of Pantilimon should also see Jordan Pickford head out on loan once more, the young 'keeper recently signed a new four-year deal and will be looking for more experience before challenging for a first team place at Sunderland.

As one player joined the club, another found a new club after being released by Sunderland at the end of the season. Academy product Louis Laing joined Nottingham Forest on a one-year deal with the option of a further year. Laing was highly rated but had seen his progress hindered by injuries and, according to the player himself, the revolving door in the manager's office at the Stadium of Light;

I haven't got a bad word to say about Sunderland, but for me changes of manager here and there maybe didn't work in my favour.

The day before Pantilimon flew into the North East to complete his move to Sunderland, there was a report claiming that the club were interested in German international goalkeeper Rene Adler. According to the report Poyet was hoping to sign the Hamburg 'keeper for around £2.5m but wanted a full medical conducted due to a knee injury the player picked up in the last game of the season.

With Sunderland completing the signing of Pantilimon, Adler actually suffering quite a severe herniated disc in his back (rather than an imaginary knee injury) and the player rated much higher than the reported £2.5m fee quoted, I think it's fairly safe to say that we can completely ignore this rumour.

Ross McCormack was linked with the club this week, with Fulham having a bid rejected for the striker, Sunderland were mentioned as one of many, many clubs who are closely monitoring the striker's situation. Although we already have Connor Wickham, Steven Fletcher, Jozy Altidore and Ignacio Scocco on the books, a move for McCormack wouldn't be entirely unlikely if the club were to sell Scocco.

Speaking of which, Scocco has been the subject of a bid from former club Newell's Old Boys, with their president hoping to strike a deal with Sunderland for the striker. It's thought cash-strapped Newell's will struggle to give Sunderland the return on their investment but with both the player and his agent pushing for the move, we may see the club cut their losses on a player who clearly wants to return home.

Fabio Borini has been linked with a move to Southampton as a make-weight in a potential deal for Adam Lallana and/or Dejan Lovren. Whether or not Southampton take an interest in Borini, you should expect Sunderland to try and get the extremely popular Italian striker to return to the Stadium of Light next season but with Liverpool still making moves in the market, we may have to wait for Brendan Rodgers to bring in replacements before he considers letting Borini go.

While the club wait for movement on the Borini front, we have been linked with two players who can also play in a similar role. Marseille's Morgan Amalfitano and Bryan Ruiz of Fulham.

Ruiz scored the winner against Italy in the World Cup but has just come off another disappointing season with Fulham, where he struggled to make an impact before being loaned out to PSV Eindhoven in January. He did improve in the Netherlands with five goals and 3 assists in 14 games but with Fulham being relegated he is expected to leave Craven Cottage this summer. Although a good player, he never particularly adapted to the Premier League but at 28 and with one year remaining on his contract, he would likely be available for much less than the £10m Fulham paid FC Twente in 2011.

Amalfitano is reportedly available for £2.5m from Marseille after something of an erratic season on-loan at West Bromwich Albion. He did get four goals and four assists in 28 Premier League games but was in and out of the side as he tended to be either completely anonymous or a class above most of his Baggies team-mates.

Both players would be good additions to the squad, have Premier League experience and wouldn't break the bank but neither would be an improvement on Johnson or Giaccherini out wide and it seems doubtful that the club would use their limited transfer funds on players unless they could go straight into the first team or were young players with plenty of potential.

Sunderland are also believed to be keeping tabs on Yeltsin Tejeda, who is a regular in the Costa Rica team and plays for Saprissa in his home country. The agent of the 22-year-old defensive midfielder says there has been interest in his client from the UK, Belgium and Spain but with the player likely using the World Cup as something of a shop window, it's hard to say if there is any genuine interest in the player.

Marcos Alonso has been linked with a move to West Ham and Swansea but Poyet has said he is doing everything possible to make sure the player returns to the Stadium of Light next season and with Fiorentina still hoping to sign Modibo Diakite on a permanent basis, an eventual swap deal between the two clubs would appear to be a good move for all concerned.

And finally, Tottenham have been linked with a move for Sunderland captain John O'Shea. According to reports, Spurs want to add experience and versatility to their squad and are willing to offer Poyet £3m for the Irish international. Sunderland appear to be baffled by the report but with the player only having one year remaining on his contract this looks like an attempt to gain leverage ahead of potential talks over a new deal, rather than any genuine interest from Spurs.

That's your lot for this week but stay tuned to Roker Report throughout the summer as we keep you up to date with all the transfer news and rumours. Also, feel free to keep in touch with our dedicated Transfer Centre, which you can do by CLICKING HERE.

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