It's nearly that time of year again. There is a smell of agents' fees hanging in the air. The January transfer window is of course nearly upon us and while we don't intend to provide a comprehensive breakdown of every last rumour on Roker Report we will try to bring you the most interesting instead.
So first up is a bit of an old favourite. Andros Townsend is again linked with the Black Cats, as was the case in the summer prior to the capture of Borini. Sunderland, it seemed, were casting an eye over the Spurs winger to solve what was a problem left sided position at the time (remember that?)
The move, as we now know, failed to materialise but the Daily Mirror are now reporting that Big Sam has instructed the Sunderland Board to make every effort to bring the former QPR loanee to the club.
Tottenham are known to drive a hard bargain in respect of transfers and I'm not sure whether the reported fee of £7mil plus add-ons is accurate. It's more likely that £8-10mil is a truer reflection given the player is English and still quite young. The story also asserts that some team called Newcastle United (any ideas?) and Swansea City are also interested.
Townsend would certainly add pace to a squad, which isn't blessed in that particular area. Save for Duncan Watmore and Patrick Van Aanholt, there really aren't any players at our disposal that can run directly at the opposition. The England International's end product is usually the issue that observers hold a question mark over - but then if he had pace and was consistent in his crossing ability, it's likely teams such as Manchester United would be exploring options rather than ourselves.
As ever with the rumours at this time of year, especially those within the Daily Mirror, truck loads of salt are required. However if Townsend were a genuine target I'd anticipate £7mil as being a significant proportion of the transfer budget. Therefore Allardyce is likely to want to strengthen other areas, which could be viewed as a greater priority before turning attentions to the wings. On this basis, if indeed it is the case, perhaps Sunderland would struggle to compete for Townsend's signature.