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The Gossip: Full Back Pursuits Becoming Sunderland Sagas

Every Sunday, we take a look at the week's gossip with an analytical eye. This week it was all about trying to get old targets over the line...

Right, no messing on this week. Let's get straight into it.

Valentin Roberge (Maritimo)
Mobido Diakite (Lazio)
Diogo Viana (F.C. Penafiel)
Danny Rose (Tottenham)
Emmanuel Cascione (Pescara)
Danilo D'Ambrosio (Torino)
El Hadji Ba (Le Havre)
Mauro Zarate (Lazio)
Bas Dost (Wolfsburg)
George Mandjeck (Auxerre)
Charlie Austin (Burnley)
Alfred Finnbogason (SC Heerenveen)
Greg Sandomierski (Genk)
Tom Allan (York City)
Salif Sane (Nancy)
Cabral (Basel)
Lucas Orban (Tigre)
Gary Hooper (Celtic)
Fraser Forster (Celtic)
Milos Krasic (Fenerbache)
Wilfried Bony (Vitesse)
Grant Holt (Norwich)
Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)
Paulinho (Livorno)
Nacho Scocco (Al Ain)
Reto Ziegler (Juventus)
John Guidetti (Manchester City)
Josuha Guilavogui (Saint-Étienne)
Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli)
Luis Pedro Cavanda (Lazio)
Joseph Alfred Duncan (Inter Milan)
Alessandro Rosina (Siena)
Jonathan Biabiany (Parma)
Benjamin Mendy (La Havre)
Scott Parker (Tottenham)
Johan Elmander (Galatassaray)
Abel Hernandez (Palermo)
Daniel Moberg Karlsson (IFK Göteborg)
Remi Gomis (Valenciennes)
Matej Vydra (Udinese)
Mejdi Traoui (Espérance de Tunis)
Jozy Altidore (AZ)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
Vito Mannone (Arsenal)
Jérémie Aliadière (Lorient)
Jeroen Zoet (PSV)
Ibrahima MBaye (Inter)
Daniel Bessa (Inter)
Gino Peruzzi (Vélez Sarsfield)
Callum McManaman (Wigan)
Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham)
Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Heerenveen)
Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth)
Chung-yong Lee (Bolton)
Robert Acquafresca (Bologna)
Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos)
Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus)
Przemysław Tytoń (PSV)

Just the three new names, taking us to a total of 58. However, the lack of new names certainly didn't make for a quiet week. In fact, it may have been the busiest week so far.

With pre-season training under way and the Italian 'boot camp' looming, this week has mostly appeared to be about getting older targets over the line rather than the usual hoard of new ones.

The main talking points have been in the full back positions, and considering Phil Bardsley is the only senior full back the club owns and they seem intent on getting rid of him, it is perfectly understandable that the club would want to stock up in the position.

Sadly, the efforts to solve the problem all appear to be turning into the dreaded 'transfer sagas'.

During the week, Gino Peruzzi's move to Wearside was said to be off due to the player 'rejecting' the move, with reports suggesting there was a disagreement over personal terms. However, as things stand now, those reports appear to have been somewhat misleading, and the Vélez president and coach have both confirmed the Argentinian full back is still in talks with Sunderland.

The situation is less clear with the other Argentinian that Sunderland are chasing, though. Lucas Orban always said that he would decide his future after Tigre's season was over and a decision should be near.

However, all we have really been able to ascertain so far is that he doesn't want to return to former club River Plate. He seems to be pondering over three options - stay at Tigre, or go to Sunderland or Sevilla. With rumours growing about a possible Danny Rose return almost by the day, you suspect Sunderland's patience may be starting to run out with Orban.

There appears to be no luck with another left back target at the moment, either. Benjamin Mendy was at Sunderland earlier in the week to discuss a move after a fee was agreed with Le Havre. He is very much keeping his options open though and also popped along to Marseille's summer training camp.

The Le Havre president, meanwhile, was quick to insist that Sunderland alone have agreed a fee for the teenager.

His destination at this point is anyone's guess, though Marseille possess considerable pulling power in France so don't go getting 'Mendy' on the back of your new shirts or anything just yet. You get the feeling this one could go either way. If anything, I'd say it isn't looking all that great for us.

To complete the set, Sunderland's interest in Luis Pedro Cavanda appears to be on the wane too. The agent of the Lazio right back has said that he has barely heard from Sunderland and doesn't know what is happening there.

You do sense that the club would like to do a deal to bring the Belgian to the Stadium of Light, but with the player being available on a free next year, there is no need to allow themselves to be held hostage over the price now. Atalanta and Livorno have also been linked, but he insists he'd prefer to move abroad.

There was much better luck in the pursuit of attacking players, thankfully.

Top striker target Jozy Altidore revealed on his official site that Sunderland had agreed a fee with Alkmaar for him and he would travel to the north east to have a medical and finalize a move - believed to be in the region of £6million - on Monday. That one seems very positive.

In addition, there has also been something of a whirlwind progression on a new name - Charis Mavrias. The 19-year-old Greek winger was revealed as a target on Monday night, and it soon emerged that a fee of €3million (around £2.5million) with potential add-ons of €1million has been agreed with Panathinaikos to bring the highly-rated youngster to Wearside.

In terms of other new names, it has all been a little sparse. One enticing link was with Juventus' Italian International midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini. Reports in Italy claimed Sunderland were intent on offering the former Cesena man a 3-year-contract, a pay rise, and regular football, though no one really seems all that convinced that he will leave Turin. I'd advise against getting your hopes up on that one.

The only other especially notable event was the agent of PSV goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń insisting Sunderland were in talks with the Pole. That one is nonsense, though. Agents lie.

I think you're caught up. I'd better go have a lie down.

Remember you can keep up with all the stories as they happen via our DEDICATED SUNDERLAND TRANSFER CENTRE.

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