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The Roker Roundup - Sunday 21st February 2016

Here's what is shaping your SAFC world tonight - it's the Roker Roundup!

Chantome Next?

The Evening Chronicle are alleging that Sunderland scouts were present at Bordeaux's game with Nice this weekend, with defensive midfielder Clement Chantome in their sights ahead of the summer transfer window.

The twenty-eight year old former PSG man is available on a free transfer in the summer, and Sam Allardyce is looking forwards and not backwards, hoping to utilise his successful French scouting network again once safety has been reached come the end of this season.

Chantome has previously been a target for Leicester City, and is known for his ability on the ball and ruthless defensive nature - comparable perhaps to Yann M'Vila in terms of style.

If we manage to stave off relegation again this season I'm fairly confident that Sam will get things right in the transfer market, and considering his past record with recruiting players from France it wouldn't surprise me if he looked extensively towards bringing in players plying their trade in Ligue 1.

Sunderland Interested In Shane Duffy?

In what seems a fairly odd link, The Sun have claimed that Blackburn Rovers defender Shane Duffy is a player that Sam Allardyce is interested in bringing to the club this summer.

Duffy left Everton in 2014 having come through the youth system there and has become an integral part of the Blackburn Rovers squad. Aged only twenty-four, Duffy's best years are ahead of him and it's inevitable that he'll eventually return to the Premier League, but whether or not Sunderland are actually interested remains to be seen.

Come the summer you'd imagine that we'll be looking at perhaps securing long-term replacements for John O'Shea and Wes Brown, but it's maybe a little early to suggest we've already decided on which direction we'll be going come the summer.

News Site Predicts Sunderland Survival

Welsh news website Wales Online have predicted that Sunderland will finish seventeenth and survive this season, with Newcastle, Norwich and Aston Villa occupying the final relegation places.

Although it's almost impossible to predict just how the season will play out with so many games still left to play, sports writer Chris Wathan believes that Sunderland will survive with a total of thirty-seven points, three points clear of eighteenth-placed Newcastle United.

Allardyce Making Use Of Real Madrid Connection

Sunderland's players and staff headed out to Dubai at the start of last week and manager Sam Allardyce has revealed his squad will be making use of Real Madrid's rehabilitation centre in the Middle East in order to reinvigorate his tiring players ahead of what is set to be a grueling end to the Premier League season.

Allardyce's former charge Michel Salgado runs the centre, and Big Sam has used his contacts in order to secure use of the facility whilst we have a break in competitive fixtures this weekend.

He said:

It’s been a part of my life since I got into the Premier League and Dubai offers the highest level of facilities in the world, so I’ve linked up with Michel, who looks after the Real Madrid coaching clinic over there, and we’ve used their facilities.

Hey, if it means we come back playing like Ronaldo and co then I'm all for it.

SuperKev Thinks Sunderland Have Enough To Survive

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips believes Sunderland have given themselves a fantastic chance of surviving relegation this season following an impressive few weeks in games against tough opposition

Phillips wrote in this column for the Evening Chronicle that Sunderland should view the way that Leicester City managed to scrape clear last year from a much worse position and look to emulate it.

Phillips explained:

Look at the way my old club Leicester City fought their way back from the brink at the end of last season - once we eventually got going in April, there was no stopping us as we won seven out of our last nine games.

Sunderland’s predicament right now is nowhere near as bad as Leicester’s last season.

For one thing, they are only a point behind fourth place while Leicester were seven points adrift before that late run.

For another, Sunderland have 12 games to go while Leicester only had nine.

I still expect the relegation battle to go right to the wire, but Sunderland have given themselves a real chance now.

Under 21's Go Top With Liverpool Win

An inspired performance from Rees Greenwood and goals from Mikael Mandron and Carl Lawson ensured that Andy Welsh's under 21's side went back to the top of the Barclays U21s Premier League with a 2-0 win away at Liverpool today.

You can read our full report of the match, including player ratings, here.