The Gossip: Williams - A Priority Target

Michael Steele

It's Sunday, so that means it's time to take a look back at the last week of transfer news and rumours.

The main news this week is one player staying, one about to depart and Sunderland bidding £4m for a Swansea player but before we get to that, let's take a look at the updated list of players linked 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)

That's nine new names this week, taking our total to an already hefty 36. With one right back, two central defenders, one winger, two central midfielders and three strikers amongst the linked players but apart from Ashley Williams, whom we will get to shortly, the remaining seven look to be tenuous links at best.

Sunderland are widely reported to have made a £4m bid for Swansea captain Ashley Williams this week, with the Welsh international described as a 'priority target' for Gus Poyet and Lee Congerton. The 29-year-old only has one-year remaining on his existing contract, has reportedly told Swansea that he will not renew terms with them and is looking for a fresh challenge in the Premier League.

Despite the player only have one-year left on his contract, it's thought Swansea are looking for around £8m, although it looks unlikely that they will get that much for Williams considering his contract situation, age and his wish to leave the Liberty Stadium.

Read why Ashley Williams could be the perfect player to slot into the Sunderland back four HERE.

We were linked once again with Lazio right back Luis Pedro Cavanda, with his agent saying we are an option for the defender as he looks for a way out of the Italian side but a move for Cavanda looks unlikely after the recent signing of Billy Jones.

The Daily Mail has suggested that Sunderland have enquired about the services of Racing striker Luciano Vietto, with the 20-year-old keen to work with Poyet. The player was seen as a rising star before losing his way of late but while it's possible Sunderland are keeping an eye on a player, the reported £7.2m price tag placed on his head by Racing Club would probably be too big a risk and a poor use of funds that may have to stretch a long way.

Sunderland are one of the names being linked with a move for Curtis Davies of Hull City, along with Everton and Newcastle. According to the Mirror Newcastle are hoping to offer £4m plus Steven Taylor for Davies as Pardew looks to revamp his back-four. If Sunderland do have interest, you have to suspect he would be a back up plan in the event we were unable to sign Williams.

The remaining players linked with the club this week, IncePaulinhoSigthorssonVainqueur and Cigarini have only loosely been linked with a move to the Stadium of Light, with our name being linked as having possible interest in the players in stories mainly linking the players with moves elsewhere.

Seb Larsson finally put pen to paper and signed a new three-year contract at the club. Larsson, who turned 29 on Friday, said he was delighted to sign a new contract and although most fans are hoping to see some quality brought into Sunderland's midfield, he should prove to be a valuable member of the squad in the coming seasons, due to his versatility, work-rate and experience.

Whilst Larsson has committed his future to Sunderland, Jack Colback looks set to join rivals Newcastle in the coming days. Sunderland tried to keep the academy product at the club but was believed to be very disappointed after a 'derisory' offer by former Director of Football Roberto De Fanti and after being tempted by a £50k per week offer from West Ham is expected to wrap up a deal to join Alan Pardew's side once he returns from holiday.

Like Larsson, while he is an extremely useful player to have around the squad due to his work-rate and versatility, the starting line-up needs an extra bit of quality that he has been unable to provide on anything close to a regular basis. It is disappointing to lose another academy product who had broke into the first team but his probable destination will be more of an annoyance to most than actually losing the player himself.

Mexican striker Kevin Chaurand of Celay, who was expected to link up with Sunderland on trial during pre-season, has been snapped up by fellow Ascenco MX (The second division of Mexican football) side Necaxa during the Mexican transfer draft. Chaurand has a dual French passport, so would have had no problem joining Sunderland if they had decided to sign him after the trial and the player himself has said that he will need to speak to Necaxa's Sporting Director to see if the trial will go ahead as planned.

Moussa Sow and Ever Banega have been consistently linked with Sunderland during the last couple of weeks, with talk of the club looking into the possibility of meeting Sow's release clause and bidding around £8m for Banega. However it's believed Sunderland don't have anything more than a passing interest in Sow, although it may be a different matter with his Fenerbahce team-mate Raul Meireles, and have dropped their interest in Banega.

As Sunderland attempt to bring in Williams, expect imminent moves to bring former loanees Santiago Vergini and Marcos Alonso back to the Stadium of Light as the club try to finalise the seven defenders Poyet wants in his squad before pre-season starts next month.

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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