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Round-up: Two Defenders Targeted - Striker Talks Off

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Sunderland have been in contact with two clubs as they look to strengthen their defence but a move for a former trialist looks to be over.

Denis Doyle

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Gus Poyet has spoken openly about the fact he wants seven defenders in his squad and with Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt taking up four of the slots, it leaves three spaces to be filled before the transfer window closes.

Santiago Vergini, Marcos Alonso and another central defender have always looked like the likely targets to fill those three gaps and it appears as if the central defender target is Celtic's Virgil van Dijk.

According to Voetbal International, Sunderland and Swansea have been in contact with Celtic over the possible transfer of the defender. According to the report the Scottish champions are now prepared to sell van Dijk with a fee of around £8m expected to be enough to clinch the 23-year-old's signature.

If our pursuit of van Dijk were to be successful, it would just leave two more gaps in the defensive make-up of our squad and while Alonso and Vergini were clearly top targets for Gus Poyet, reports in Italy suggest Sunderland may have resurrected their interest in Lazio's Belgian right back Luis Pedro Cavanda.

The report claims talks are just at an initial stage, to check out the player's willingness to move to England, but the fact the 23-year-old can cover both full back positions, has plenty of pace and is available for around £2.4m should make the defender a tempting proposition for Poyet, who hinted that Cavanda is just the type of full back he is looking for;

If you asked me before pre-season started, if I wanted two left footed left-backs, I would have said no.

Now if Alonso comes on loan for free then we would probably take him. We need another full-back, the idea is one who can play right and left or with Billy (Jones) covering.

Finally, despite Poyet, and Crewe's manager Steve Davis both sounding hopeful that Max Clayton's move to Sunderland would go ahead as recently as yesterday, it looks as if Clayton's hopes of joining the club on a permanent basis is over after the player joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on trial.

Stay tuned to Roker Report throughout the summer as we keep you up to date with all the transfer news and rumours. Also, feel free to keep in touch with our dedicated Transfer Centre, which you can do by CLICKING HERE.