Nigerian winger Michel Babetunde has claimed that Sunderland have contacted his agent about a move to Wearside and it's the most 'interesting' offer currently on the table.
The Volyn Lutsk man, who played for the Super Eagles in the World Cup finals before a broken wrist ended his involvement in the final group game, said:
I have received an offer from several clubs but the one from Sunderland is the one that interests me.
I have received several offers from different places, but I'm interested in the one from Sunderland. They have contacted my agent and we will see how it goes from there.
There are about two offers from clubs in Turkey as well, which are both under consideration and will be discussed at the right time.
I'm probably going to leave Volyn. We have to discuss the offers on ground but most likely, I will be leaving this summer.
Call me a cynic if you want, but it looks like a player with limited profile trying to talk himself into a post-World Cup move by telling everyone that he is available and open to offers. As we've seen in the past, Sunderland are a fairly handy club for this kind of stuff because we are a big enough club to get noticed without being so big to put off other suitors. It's a trick agents have been pulling for ages. It's why just about every player seems to be linked with 'Sunderland and West Ham'.
Babetundi would probably struggle to get a work permit for England anyway to be honest given he is more an emerging international player than an established one.
I could be way off the mark here, but I'm not especially convinced by this one.
In other news, it seems that Emanuele Giaccherini won't be offered a reunion with his former international manager Cesare Prandelli at Galatasaray and is focused on persisting with his Sunderland career.
The former Juventus man had a mixed first season in the north east, producing flashes of quality and end-product without ever really establishing himself in Gus Poyet's team. He has been constantly linked with a move away by the media, but his agents has always insisted he wants to stay here. That's a point he has reiterated again following the latest rumour:
Giaccherini wants to stay at Sunderland a lot and stay in the team.
He hopes to have fewer difficulties than last season. The talk about Galatasaray is an invention.
All very nice and stuff. In fairness, Giaccherini's attitude has never been anything other than immaculate at Sunderland. He may just be one of those players who need a year to settle. There is certainly plenty of quality in there.