Rumours have been picking up of late that suggest Steven Fletcher's future will not be at the Stadium of Light, with Hull City, Celtic and Tottenham Hotspur all linked with the Scottish international.
Neil Lennon recently admitted that he would be interested in Fletcher if he were available but suggested that he probably wouldn't be able to afford the fee Sunderland would demand and Fletcher's agent recently admitted that there was interest in the 26-year-old from English Premier League clubs.
Now one of those Premier League clubs seem to have made the first move for the striker, after The Times reported that Hull City have had an initial bid of £8m rejected by Sunderland. With Steve Bruce's side expected to go back in with an improved offer, although it appears Sunderland are demanding close to £12m for Fletcher, the fee they paid Wolves for last season's top scorer 18 months ago.
The report also says that Fletcher is surplus to requirements at Sunderland, a development which would not be a huge surprise considering his highly frustrating displays of late. Although Fletcher showed his quality before his injury last season, since then he has has either struggled for fitness and form, while also losing regularly losing his place in the team to the similarly under-performing Jozy Altidore.
The key, as usual, will be seeing who comes in to replace Fletcher if he does depart. With Wickham, Graham and now Mandron out on loan, that would leave Jozy Altidore, Fabio Borini and Ji Dong-Won as the only strikers at the club, so it will be critical to our survival hopes that any money for Fletcher is used wisely.
Initial reports out of Italy say we have contacted Genoa and Roma over Alberto Gilardino and Marco Borriellorespectively, as possible replacements but both requests were rejected by the Italian sides.