David Moyes 'Has A Four-Man Hit List To Kick Off His January Dealings'
David Moyes has drawn up a shopping list for the upcoming transfer window and four names feature on it as his identified 'top targets'.
The Sunderland boss will be discussing his plans with Chief Executive, Martin Bain, and the man who holds the purse strings, owner Ellis Short, in the next week or so.
So say the rumours. With money tighter than it has been for a number of years, the pressure is on the Sunderland hierarchy to provide sufficient monetary support to the manager to land some deals which will add to the quality in the current mismatched squad.
Sunderland are light in up-front options with survival hopes again resting heavily on Jermain Defoe, and the squad has been continually ravaged by injuries to midfield personnel.
Moyes may well cash-in on Lamine Kone to fund some of the squad tinkering he wishes to push through in January. But, with a rumoured return of £15m on the sale of the Ivorian, the Sunderland boss will little be able to afford much of what he believes he needs to do based on selling the Ivorian alone.
As we speculate who Moyes might be after, here's a whistle-stop tour to the players Sunderland have been linked with in recent weeks as the gossip hots up ahead of the transfer window opening at the end of the month.
Centre-back Domagoj Vida has been strongly linked as one David Moyes has taken a fancy to. The 27-year-old can also play at full-back and as a right-footer he would neatly replace Lamine Kone if we was to leave the club. Currently with Ukranian club Dynamo Kiev, Vida would be available for around £8m. Sunderland would face stiff competition. Italian club, Torino, are the other outfit most often mentioned as also monitoring him.
Carl Jenkinson has been linked with Sunderland again this week. The Arsenal right-back turned down a move to the Stadium of Light in the summer of 2015, opting to move on loan to West Ham instead. Jenkinson's chance of a Premier League first team run at the Gunners are as remote as they ever were. He was widely panned on social media for a performance in the EFL Cup two weeks ago. Since then, Arsene Wenger has confirmed the 24-year-old is unlikely to play in an Arsenal shirt in the near future until he 'regains his confidence', which probably explains the Sunderland transfer link.
Finally, Sunderland were linked with a return to Turkey for former-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel a couple of weeks ago. The 31-year-old joined Dick Advocaat's Fenerbahçe during the summer for a fee of £5 million. But, his wealth of Premier League experience - gained from eight years at Liverpool - may make him an appealing target for David Moyes, especially if Lamine Kone leaves.
Norwich winger Jacob Murphy is the latest to join the list of midfielders linked with Sunderland. The 21-year-old product of the East Anglian club's youth system is something of a hot English prospect so he's attracting interest from other Premier League clubs. Tottenham, Everton and Southampton are amongst his supposed admirers. He recently penned a new deal at Carrow Road and the Canaries will only be minded to sell if a 'too good to turn down' big offer arrives - somewhere in excess of £10m likely.
We covered Sheffield Wednesday's Kieran Lee in depth last week. The midfielder has made the most tackles of any Championship player this season and is pretty comfortable on the ball with a few goals to his name too. He has promise to fill a midfield void for us. At 28 he would likely fancy a pop at the Premier League, though swapping play-off prospects Sheff Wed with relegation threatened Sunderland might be risky in that regard.
Luciano Narsingh is an interesting prospect. He's been linked with us and West Brom. Currently with PSV Eindhoven, his agent all but confirmed Sunderland are one of the clubs who have been in touch with him, though admittedly - taking an agent at face-value is fraught with disappointment. Narsingh plays as a winger and is in the final year of his contract with the Dutch club. Everton are also being credited with an interest, though they are being linked with anything that moves in truth.
Besiktas mifielder Kerim Frei was loosely reported to be interesting us, but we were likely just an add-on to some interest from West Brom.
Will Moyes return to Norwich for Steven Naismith? The deadline day switch never happened in the summer. The 30-year-old Scot has made eleven appearances in the Championship this season, weighing in with three goals.
And there are relentless links to a range of other Moyesian-style players continuing to surface. Dundalk pairing Daryl Hogan and Andy Boyle, Motherwell youngster, Chris Cadden and who could forget Robbie Brady - the Republic of Ireland winger-cum-defender gained rave reviews last weekend for his performance at left-back as Norwich smashed Brentford; and he was linked with Sunderland earlier in the season as he spoke of a desire to return to the Premier League.
Lucas Teodoczyk has been rumoured to be interesting Sunderland but West Ham and Liverpool are also after him. The 25-year-old is on loan at Anderlecht from Dynamo Kiev and has scored 17 goals this season. The Belgian club retain first refusal on making the temporary deal a permanent one. In truth he's unlikely to be on the move in January.
Porto's Moussa Marega has been mentioned on-and-off but his price tag will be prohibitive.
Sandro Ramirez of CF Malaga was also a tentative link recently. The 21-year-old product of Barcelona's youth system is on fire in La Liga, but Tottenham have been sniffing around him for months.
And lastly, a shout for Peter Crouch and Shane Long. The former England and current Irish internationals, respectively, have been long standing rumoured targets for Sunderland and their names have loomed again in recent weeks.