The Gossip: Loan Duo Set For Return?

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Time for our weekly round-up of all the Sunderland transfer news and rumours.

Sunderland are rumoured to have made an offer for a former loan star and are considering a bid for yet another, one youngster joins the club on trial while another two are under the spotlight but before we get to the news, the updated list of incoming transfer rumours:

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)
German Lux (Deportivo La Coruna)
Geoff Cameron (Stoke)
Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)
Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
Lewis Baker (Chelsea)
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Panagiotis Kone (Bologna)
Diego Poyet (Charlton)
Enner Valencia (Pachuca)
Jose Holebas (Olympiakos)
Djamel Mesbah (Parma)
Timothee Kolodziejczak (Nice)
Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Jack Rodwell (Man City)
Nabil Bahoui (AIK)
Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce)
Troy Deeney (Watford)
Jordan McGhee (Hearts)
Jamal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest)
Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid)
Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)
Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)
Rod Fanni (Marseille)
Christian Fuchs (Schalke)
Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros)
Dorin Rotariu (Dinamo Bucharest)
Michael Babatunde (Volyn Lutsk)
Max Clayton (Crewe)
Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton)
Charlie Austin (QPR)
Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea)

There were 14 new names added to the list this week, which takes our quickly increasing running total to 72. At the rate we're going we will not only break the 100 mark but we'll be closing in on 200 by the end of the transfer window!

We'll start off with the news that Sunderland have finally made a formal offer for Marcos Alonso. The Spaniard was a big hit during his loan spell at the Stadium of Light last season and an offer had been expected to go in for the left back since the end of last season, with Gus Poyet saying he was doing everything possible to ensure the 23-year-old returns to the club.

The 'Sky Souces' don't mention how much the bid is worth or whether, as rumoured, Modibo Diakite is involved in the deal but hopefully we will see the popular full back return to the club in the near future.

Another loan star from last season could yet to return to the club, with the news that Sunderland are to bid around £8m for Fabio Borini. The popular Italian is likely to drop further down the pecking order at Anfield, as Liverpool look to spend heavily following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. £8m would be an acceptable first offer but Liverpool are likely to want to recoup the £10.5m they paid Roma for the 23-year-old, a figure which is hard to argue with considering the £11m fee Fulham paid for Ross McCormack.

Despite Poyet hoping to sign Alonso, there are currently no senior left backs at the club, and only youngsters David Ferguson and Tom Robson currently available to the first team. So even if Alonso signs, we may still try and bring in another left back, which brings us to our next rumour, Christian Fuchs of Schalke. According to the usually reliable German publication Bild, Sunderland, Bordeaux and Palermo are all believed to be tracking the Austrian left back.

Fuchs, who has 57 caps for Austria, is currently recovering from a knee injury but is believed to be available for around £2m after falling behind Bosnian prospect Sead Kolasniac and German international Dennis Aogo in the pecking order at the Veltins-Arena. Fuchs would certainly fit into Poyet's style of play and at approximately £2m, could be one to watch.

Sunderland have made no secret of the fact they are looking to strengthen the centre of their defence, with Wes Brown and John O'Shea not getting any younger and in the last year of their contracts, question marks over the futures of Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite, and youngsters John Egan and Louis Laing being released. The club thought they had a chance of signing Ashley Williams only to be used as pawns as he won himself the contract he wanted from Swansea, that saw Congerton switch his attentions to an attempt to get Kurt Zouma on loan from Chelsea but with no progress yet on that front, we had a few new names added to the mix this week.

First up is Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid. The 19-year-old shone when called upon in the World Cup for Uruguay and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Sunderland and Verona are competing for the teenager's signature. Gimenez does not come with any Premier League experience, which is high up on Sunderland's wanted list, but there is no doubting the player's potential. It seems unlikely that Atletico would sell the player and it seems just as unlikely that the club would want both Gimenez and Zouma on loan, so it would appear as if Gimenez would be a loan alternative to Zouma, should news of our interest be true.

We have also been linked with a move for Celtic's highly rated Dutch defender Virgin van Dijk. According to the Mirror, Southampton want the player as a potential replacement for Dejan Lovren, with Sunderland and Everton also interested in the 23-year-old. We were regularly linked with the player before his move to Celtic and he has thrived since his move to Parkhead, albeit in a lesser league, but despite the player seemingly being a good fit, the reported £6m price tag would be something of a risk for a player who is plying his trade in the Scottish Premier League.

Sunderland had scouts present at Leigh Sports Village in midweek, as Hearts beat Romanian outfit Dinamo Bucharest 2-1 in a pre-season friendly. It's believed a player on each side was the focus of our attentions, with Dinamo's Dorin Rotariu and Jordan McGhee of Hearts under the spotlight. 17-year-old defender McGhee and 18-year-old winger Rotariu would both (presumably) be initially for the development squad but both are highly rated and would bolster the ranks after a number of youngsters were released at the end of the season.

Sunderland are also interested in another highly rated centre half, in the form of Nottingham Forest's Jamal Lascelles. The 20-year-old would certainly be a good addition to the squad and should improve further with Brown and O'Shea to learn from but our interest is likely to be complicated by interest from other clubs as well as his potential asking price.

We were also tentatively linked with Carl Jenkinson and Rod Fanni but with the arrival of Billy Jones and our continued interest in Santiago Vergini, we can probably rule out both.

Another one we can probably rule out is Bosnian international Muhamed Besic, the defensive midfielder is expected to move to Sevilla or Everton and with Lee Cattermole and Liam Bridcutt already at the club in that position, we can expect a more forward thinking midfielder to be of interest, rather than another defensive minded one.

Nigerian winger Michael Babatunde did claim that Sunderland had made an offer for his services, an offer that he sounded particularly keen to follow up on. However he quickly backtracked and claimed that the club, as well as Schalke, only had an interest in him. The player had impressed during the World Cup, before his tournament was cut short by a broken wrist, but it does strike us as the player trying to drum up interest in himself as he tries to earn a post-World Cup move.

Promising Crewe Alexandra striker Max Clayton has joined the club on trial, as he attempts to earn himself a contract. The 19-year-old was just as highly rated at Crewe as Nick Powell, and has been a regular at England youth levels, but has seen his career failed to progress somewhat, despite his potential, thanks to a broken ankle suffered last season and a change of style from Crewe manager Steve Davis who has implemented a more direct style. The player has already been pictured training with the Sunderland first team squad and should he impress Poyet enough to earn a deal, Sunderland will have to either thrash out a deal with Crewe or go to a tribunal due to the youngster rejecting a new deal with the Railywayman.

From a 19-year-old League One striker, to a 33-year-old legend, as we were linked with Samuel Eto'o this week. According to renowned Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Sunderland have made an enquiry for the player who is out of contract after leaving Chelsea. Last season Pedulla was remarkably spot-on with all things Sunderland but since our Italian staff left his record is not quite as stellar. Despite his age and only being a shadow of his former self, Eto'o would still be a class above most strikers we've had but his wages will surely scupper any remote chance we had of signing the player.

The name of Moussa Sow cropped up once again but his age, price tag, wage requirements and the interest in the Senegalese striker from Monaco, makes a deal very unlikely.

The final bit of incoming transfer rumours concerns two strikers who were plying their trade in the Championship last season, Charlie Austin and Craig Mackail-Smith. QPR striker Austin scored 20 goals in all competition for the R's last season and Poyet is believed to be monitoring the 25-year-old as he looks to strengthen his forward line. Austin only joined QPR from Burnley for £4m last summer, so it's hard to see QPR selling him at all, nevermind for a reasonable price.

Like Troy Deeney from last week, Mackail-Smith may be seen as useful squad player who could replace Danny Graham, who is expected to leave the club in the near future. The striker also has the advantage of knowing Poyet's style, so although it wouldn't be a signing to get the pulses racing, he would still be a useful addition. Despite all that, I still can't see Mackail-Smith being high up on Sunderland's list of targets, as we still have Wickham, Fletcher and Altidore at the club and if we were to sign a striker, it would likely be one who can challenge for a starting place or as one of the future, not one to come in as fourth choice.

Sunderland are still hoping to tie Connor Wickham down to a new contract, which looks likely to happen despite rumours of interest elsewhere. Southampton and Leicester were both linked with moves for the striker but Southampton signed Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord yesterday and Leicester's primary target is believed to be Islam Slimani of Sporting Lisbon.

Emanuele Giaccherini continues to be linked with Galatasaray, which is an easy link to make after the appointment of Cesare Prandelli, but his agent has again stated that he is happy at Sunderland and according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Sunderland consider the Italian international 'non-transferable'. Although I wish that were true, as I believe Giaccherini could be set for a good season with us, we probably would sell if we got a good offer for the attacking midfielder.

The saga of Ignacio Scocco could be set to for a conclusion, despite Poyet wanting to keep the player and see him kick on during pre-season, it's likely he will return to former club Newell's in the near future. The Argentine side's first offer of around £1.5m for a 50% stake in his player was rejected by Sunderland but Newell's are believed to have made an offer of around double that, which would take it close to the fee we originally paid for the player, an offer that could well be enough to secure his services.

Scocco has reportedly already agreed a five-year contract with Newell's in advance of the clubs agreeing a fee and despite the Rosario-based club struggling to raise the funds, there were suggestions that they may approach an investor group to help fund their move for the 29-year-old.

Finally, our two released goalkeepers found new clubs this week. As Oscar Ustari completed his move to Newell's and Keiren Westwood signed a two-year deal at Sheffield Wednesday.

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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