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The Gossip: Sessegnon Rumours Resurface

Time once again for our weekly round-up of the latest Sunderland gossip.

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It's now less than a week before the start of the Premier League season and we are still waiting for the elusive midfield playmaker, as well as the seemingly impossible to sign full backs.

But before we get into that, here is the updated list of players to be linked with a move to Sunderland this summer:

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 (Le 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)
Przemyslaw Tyton (PSV)
Maxi Lopez (Catania)
Innocent Emeghara (Lorient)
Bastian Oczipka (Eintract Frankfurt)
Christiano Biraghi (Inter)
Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
Aly Cissokho (Valencia)
Luca Marrone (Juventus)
Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce)
Emil Hallfreðsson (Chievo)
Frederik Sorensen (Bologna)
Jorge Flores (Tigres)
Fabio Daprelà (Brescia)
Libor Kozák (Lazio)
Julio Buffarini (San Lorenzo)
Manuel Fernandes (Besiktas)
Walter Gargano (Napoli)
John Boye (Rennes)
Jires Kembo (Al Ain)
Loris Benito (ZUrich)
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Panathinaikos)
Zdravko Kuzmanović (Inter)
Cheikh M'Bengue (Toulouse)
Ondrej Celustka (Trabzonspor)
Danny Guthrie (Reading)
Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus)

That's four new names this week, taking our running total up to 83. As the 2012/13 season ended 83 days ago, we have been averaging one new player linked per day since the end of last season, which is quite unbelievable.

Before we get to the newest names, we will start with rumours of a player leaving the Stadium of Light. We told you earlier in the summer how Stephane Sessegnon was linked with a move to Chinese club Tianjin Teda before they ended their interest in the Benin international. Rumours have emerged from the French version of Eurosport that Sessegnon may be on the brink of joining Asamoah Gyan in the desert with a move to the Qatar Stars League.

No other media outlet is reporting the story as yet and no club or fee have been mentioned, so this story should be taken with a pinch of salt but with reports all summer that Sunderland will listen to offers for the mercurial 29-year-old, such a move cannot be dismissed.

One player linked with Sunderland this week, who could possibly fill the void should Sessegnon leave is Juventus striker, Fabio Quagliarella. Although not a like for like replacement, the Italian international scored 13 goals and had 5 assists for the Italian champions last season and according to yesterday's editions of the Gazzetta Dello Sport and Tuttosport, Sunderland have made an enquiry for the 30-year-old. The reported asking price of at least €10m would seem too high for a player who is the wrong side of 30 and should the club follow up their interest, they will likely have to compete for his signature with Norwich City.

The club's long, long search for a right back may be about to bear fruit, with Czech full back Ondrej Celustka closing in on a move to Sunderland. As we reported a couple of days ago, the player himself confirmed we are interested in his services and yesterday Trabzonspor's Executive Director, Unal Karaman, confirmed they have received offers from Europe. This morning the player's official Facebook account claimed a deal was imminent, so it's all looking positive there.

Hopefully that means there will be good news on the right back front in the coming week but the same can't be said with any confidence about the left back position.

One target, Loris Benito, looks to have been snapped up by Serie A newcomers Sassuolo, while another, Aly Cissokho, has claimed he agreed terms with Liverpool and is just awaiting the Merseyside club and Valencia to reach an agreement. Something Brendan Rodgers disagreed with as he said there was nothing in the Cissokho story and yesterday Liverpool were reported to have made a move to sign Bayern Munich left back Diego Contento on loan.

Yet another left back, Chiekh M'Bengue, was offered to Sunderland according to our local newspapers. The player himself is reportedly keen on a move to England but unless he was on the list of potential left backs compiled by Roberto De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni, it's unlikely the club will make an exception considering every player signed thus far was heavily scouted by the club beforehand.

Unfortunately left back is not the only position where we are struggling to make a breakthrough, with the lack of a central midfield playmaker still an ongoing issue. In the last edition of 'The Gossip' we told you how Walter Gargano and Zdravko Kuzmanovic had been added to the list of potential targets, well we are now one week further along and it looks as if there has been no progress.

Paolo Di Canio spoke about the issue this week and reiterated his desire to see a key player who can link midfield and attack join the club. Di Canio also referenced that this player must be English and have physical presence, which appears to be a clear reference to Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone, a player Sunderland have been linked with all summer.

While Huddlestone appears to be Di Canio's first choice for the position, it's believed the club have other alternatives, both at home and abroad, with Reading's Danny Guthrie and Tottenham's Scott Parker mentioned in dispatches this week. Although whether either of those players fit the profile of a midfield playmaker is highly debatable.

That's your lot for another week. Remember you can keep up with all the stories as they happen via our DEDICATED SUNDERLAND TRANSFER CENTRE.

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