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The Gossip: England Winger 'On Verge' Of Sunderland Switch

Adam Johnson: FINALLY Sunderland bound?
Adam Johnson: FINALLY Sunderland bound?

OK folks, you know the drill by now. I provide a dashingly clever and charming introduction, then basically tell you something you already know yet would prefer not to be reminded of - specifically that Sunderland still haven't spent a penny in the transfer market this summer.

So lets just assume all that has happened (especially the bit about me being clever, dashing, and charming) and get to the meaty stuff, because there are actually some pretty mouthwatering links to talk about this week with one especially seeming to have a little too much smoke for there not to be a massive fire burning away somewhere.

But first, lets rush through the formalities.

Steven Fletcher (Wolves)
Victor Moses (Wigan)
Stephen Ward (Wolves)
Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)
Adam Johnson (Manchester City)
John Guidetti (Manchester City)
Wilifred Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)
Karl Henry (Wolves)
Jay Rodriguez (Burnley)
Hassan Hissein (Foullah Edifice)
Manuel Fernandes (Besitkas)
Jorge Fucile (Porto)
Junior Hoilett (Blackburn Rovers)
Robert Huth (Stoke)
Liam Trotter (Millwall)
Mohamed Diame (Wigan)
Carlos Cuellar (Free Agent)
Steven N'Zonzi (Blackburn)
Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson (Lillestrom)
Grant Holt (Norwich)
Jese (Real Madrid Castilla)
Steven Pienaar (Tottenham)
Danny Guthrie (Newcastle)
Joselu (Real Madrid Castilla)
Matt Jarvis (Wolves)
Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea)
Matt Phillips (Blackpool)
Zak Whitbread (Free Agent)
Steven Warnock (Aston Villa)
Moussa Kone (Atalanta)
Ola John (FC Twente)
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Stuttgart)
Ola Toivonen (PSV)
Alvaro Vazquez (Espanyol)
Yoan Gouffran (Bordeaux)
Luis Saha (Free Agent)
Keith Andrews (Free Agent)
Abdou Kader Mangane (Rennes)
Ibrahima Balde (Osasuna)
Kevin Doyle (Wolves)
Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos)
Burak Yilmaz (Trabzonspor)
Martin Olsson (Blackburn)
Siake Tiene (PSG)
Sylvain Armand (PSG)
Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting Lisbon)
Ivan Ramis (Real Mallorca)
Vurnon Anita (Ajax)
Hugo Rodallega (Free Agent)
Nathenial Clyne (Crystal Palace)
Tongo Hamed Doumbia (Rennes)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
James Collins (Aston Villa)
Vassilis Torosidis (Olympiakos)
Facundo Ferreyra (Banfield)
Arouna Kone (Levante)
Didier Ya Konan (Hannover)
Scott Sinclair (Swansea)
Peter Odemwingie (WBA)
Aly Cissokho (Lyon)
Scott Dann (Blackburn)
Ivan Strinic (Dnipro)
Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United)
James Milner (Manchester City)

So, three new names this week which makes a total of 65. We will get to them in a moment.

Related: Reports: O'Neill Bids For Croatian I Follow Us On Twitter

Strong reports have begun to circulate linking Sunderland with a move for Manchester City's Adam Johnson. Nothing new there, I guess, but these ones seem to agree on details - specifically that it may actually be happening.

First it was who claimed Johnson was 'on the verge' of a move to the Stadium of Light. Then The Sun claimed something remarkably similar. Not long after, local journalists also started talking about the deal on Twitter, which is something of a rarity.

The reports suggest Johnson will join on a permanent deal for around £10m, sign a 5-year-contract, and wrap up a the move early next week. It all sounds a little too good to be true, but you never know. It is also worth noting that The Mirror, on the other hand, is claiming it is 'likely' that Johnson will join Everton on a year-long loan.

Meanwhile, The People, who also carry the Johnson story, are claiming that Martin O'Neill has made an equiry into the availability of Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov. This one seems considerably more speculative to us, however. Berbatov is unlikely to have a shortage of suitors willing to pay him very well for stepping into a less glamorous league as the window winds down, and he doesn't have anything left to prove in the Premier League.

Speaking of speculation, last week The Mail threw the name of James Milner into the fray. It is something that has been mentioned on message boards and Twitter all summer, but it is the first time it has really cropped up in the press as a serious link. Again, pragmatism would appear to suggest that, unless something happens to drastically alter his position at Manchester City where he seems very comfortable with his role, we take this one with a pinch of salt.

We'll be back with another update next week.

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