Speculation about what Sunderland's attack may look like next season has been a theme of the summer so far, but one player who has been most persistently linked with the club has dismissed any talk of any imminent move to Wearside.
Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor, who was given his big Premier League break under Martin O'Neill, told the press:
When you’ve played with a manager before, especially one as good as Martin O’Neill, then you are going to be linked with him. But it’s just pure speculation. I can assure Villa fans I haven’t heard anything about it and I’m happy here.
You never really know what to believe in football anymore. It seems everyone always has an ulterior motive behind soundbites they appear to volunteer to the press, but taking this at face value it is not news that we are too disappointed about.
Granted, Agbonlahor has done well under O'Neill before, and at one time looked a very exciting player. He also seems to have gone off the boil a great deal over the last couple of years, though, and hasn't shown a great deal to suggest he is anything more than a flash in the pan.
Certainly for the fee that would likely be involved, it would seem to represent a very big and unnecessary risk, and with some key additions needing to be made to the attack this summer, it is a risk that Sunderland probably can't afford to take.
It would also be tough to see where he could really fit. O'Neill is on record insisting he wants someone to 'lead the line', which is not really something that Agbonlahor has in his locker.
Of course, Agbonlahor didn't say that he wouldn't sign for Sunderland, but we can probably put this link to bed for now.