Bid For Young Goalkeeper Rejected
Sunderland have had a bid for Scandinavia's hottest goalkeeping prospect rejected according to reports in Sweden. Pontus Dahlberg is just 17-years-old but he has already being compared with the man who has laid claim to the Swedish national spot between the sticks for the last 13 years, Andreas Isaksson.
Who? Andreas Isaksson - you remember him, he played 19 games for Manchester City and once performed a miracle - he saved a penalty taken by Jermain Defoe.
As for Dahlberg, his club IFK Göteborg have insisted the youngster has a better chance of developing by staying in his native Sweden. He made his debut for his home-town club Älvängens IK at the age of 14 and had been set for a trial with Everton before an injury curtailed that opportunity and he opted to sign for the Gothenburg-based outfit instead.
With several foreign clubs watching him, IFK's Sporting Director revealed Sunderland have made the firmest approach so far to sign Dahlberg; and the links are obvious with Swedish starlet Joel Asoro already at the Academy of Light, and Dahlberg is signed up with agent Per Jonsson who represents Sebastian Larsson and former teenage prospect, David Moberg Karlsson.
Indeed, it is the latter's experience of life on Wearside as a youth prospect which may have dissuaded Dahlberg and his representatives from making the switch to England so soon in his career. Yesterday, we recounted Moberg Karlsson's regrets about his time at Sunderland and IFK are hopeful that the young stopper, who is already under contract with the Gothenburg club until 2020, will make his breakthrough in Sweden.
With the Swedish media already predicting Dahlberg will one day fetch a fee of up to £30m, the parallels with Sunderland's current goalkeeping crown jewel, Jordan Pickford, are easy to draw.
David Moyes yesterday indicated he has no intention of selling Pickford in January - no doubt convinced that the England-elect goalkeeper's value to his side, in both points yet to be won and transfer fee potential, has not been maximised just yet.
As for Dahlberg, the door is not closed completely. When asked if his club are still realistic about losing the player in the winter transfer window, director Mats Gren said that "this is a hypothetical question, I can not answer, but we would like Pontus to get his break with us".
For one thing the move again displays Sunderland's scouting activity in the Scandinavian region. Swedish Under-17 international Oscar Krusnell was signed around the same time as Asoro and Brondby junior, 15-year-old Frederik Norrestrand, was at the Academy of Light for a trial late last year.
Burnley Join Chase For Full-Back But Offered SAFC Near-Miss Instead
Burnley have approached Inter Milan for permission to speak to full-back Yuto Nagatomo. So say Sky Sports Italia.
The Japanese international is also said to be wanted by Sunderland. Nagatomo can play at left-back or in midfield. At 30-years-old he has been with FC Internazionale for five years, making nigh-on 150 appearances.
It was Italian daily sports newspaper, Corriere dello Sport, who first claimed David Moyes has shown an interest in signing the veteran of over 80 international caps.
Now Clarets' boss Sean Dyche is said to have entered the battle for Nagatomo, but Sky Italia say Inter have offered him first refusal on one time Sunderland target, Davide Santon, instead.
Santon landed in Sunderland in the summer to discuss terms after a fee was agreed between the two clubs, only for an eleventh-hour hitch see him return back to Italy as an Inter player. The former Newcastle man remains surplus to requirements at the San Siro and is one of the highest paid players that the Nerazzurri have on their books as being up for sale.