Report: US World Cup Defender On Sunderland Radar

Jamie Squire

Could Sunderland be about to increase their American contingent?

USA defender Matt Besler is a target for Sunderland as Gus Poyet seeks to strengthen his defensive ranks, according to a report from MLSsoccer.com's Greg Seltzer.

The report claims to 'comfirm' Sunderland's interest, though insists that no offer has been made yet and the Sporting Kansas City stopper will look to have made a decision on his future by Monday. Seltzer said:

In all, there are 10 European clubs at various levels of monitoring/interest/offer talks for the Sporting KC defender. Only one of those clubs currently hanging around is in the Bundesliga, and they probably will not pay what the MLS champions are asking.

A clear majority of the nine teams at some distance in the Besler frame are in the Premier League. I can confirm that one of those admirers is Sunderland, and that they have not made an offer yet. I can also now confirm that Fulham is one of the Championship suitors, and that they have made at least one offer to now. Those are the only names I will spill at this time, but I am confident you can knock those possibilities around pretty good to pass the time.

You will not be waiting long. One way or the other, Besler is aiming to make his decision by Monday. And as I am told, that is a hard deadline this time.

Seltzer is not well-known to English fans but, as we discovered last summer when we signed Jozy Altidore, he is very much a man with his finger on the pulse when it comes to US football. It is certainly a report worth taking seriously.

A fee of around $5-6m (£3-3.5m) has been mentioned for the 27-year-old centre back who made a positive impression at the World Cup.

On the surface, a lot seems to fit with Besler and Sunderland. He's naturally left-footed (which is always attractive to coaches in centre backs), still relatively young for a central defender, and wouldn't cost the earth in terms of fee or wages. We also know Sunderland are in the market for a defender in that ilk having seen Ashley Williams slip away.

Beslar is pretty much an unknown here, but Roker Report's very own Kristan Heneage gave him a glowing report for ITV recently.

There may be nothing in it, or that materialised from it, but it's certainly one worth keeping an eye on.

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