Bid for Robbie Brady?
Sunderland have placed a bid for Norwich City midfielder, Robbie Brady. The Republic of Ireland international has been a long time target of David Moyes, and was heavily linked with a move to the Stadium of Light in the summer.
That is according to Daily Mail journalist Craig Hope.
I understand Sunderland have made an offer for Norwich City's Robbie Brady. More to follow @MailSport— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) January 16, 2017
Brady is thought to carry a £13m price tag and early reports elsewhere indicate Sunderland's initial approaches have been rejected.
Leicester are one of the other clubs who have been said to fancy the 26-year-old, though the Foxes today ruled out any bid. Burnley, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Newcastle are also credited with interest as the left-side player has become one of the most sought after players in the transfer window so far.
Sunderland's sudden apparent availability of funds may indicate a flood of business is about to engulf the Stadium of Light. Have the cash-strapped Black Cats made a sale to fund such a bid, or have they offered a player in exchange? More will follow later no doubt.
50% off - Is This What Jeremain Lens Would Be Sold For On Relegation?
Sunderland winger, Jeremain Lens, has been in the headlines of late. The Dutchman attracted the ire of David Moyes last week by appearing to suggest he is hopeful that his parent club are relegated to enable him a smooth passage to a permanent deal at Fenerbahçe.
Moyes described his comments as "disgracefully disrespectful" and suggested no one at Sunderland would now welcome the 29-year-old back to the Stadium of Light. For his part, the player has been agitating to make his spell in Turkey a permanent one for weeks.
But, Jeremain Lens' comments, for all their spite, also raise two further issues. First, they appear to confirm that when Dick Advocaat signed his fellow Dutchman in the summer of 2015, a clause was inserted into the deal which would enable the player to leave for a reduced fee should Sunderland be relegated; and second, the prospect of him being sold for cash in this transfer window appears unlikely.
Now reports in Turkey appear to shed some light on the financial hit Sunderland may take on the sale of Jeremain Lens should they fall into the Championship at the end of this season, and it may well be a half-price bonanza for someone.
Advocaat paid a fee thought to rise up to £13m for Lens when he signed him from Dynamo Kiev, and Sunderland are understood to want their money back on any sale. It is likely an absolute minimum of £8m would be required to entice them into negotiations.
However, Turkish media are suggesting any bidder would be able to land Jeremain Lens for a fee of €5m - better than half-price in fact - should the drop catch up with Sunderland this season. Quite a whack.
Patrick van Aanholt - Worth More Than £12m?
Former Sunderland boss, Sam Allardyce, has said his new left-back, Jeffrey Schlupp, was "actually quite cheap compared to the prices we've been quoted for other players". The Ghanaian joined Crystal Palace in a deal worth £12m last week.
And it immediately begs the question - what was Big Sam quoted for Patrick van Aanholt then when he came calling at the Stadium of Light last week?
Sunderland turned down at least two bids from Crystal Palace for the Dutch full-back, with an initial offer thought to have been lodged at £7m.
Allardyce himself is thought to have slapped a price-tag of £15m on van Aanholt during his tenure at the Stadium of Light. The 26-year-old is under contract at Sunderland until 2020, having signed an extension in the summer.
Youngsters Denied First Team Shot & Loan Opportunities?
David Moyes has come under fire in some quarters for his refusal to extend opportunities to the young players who have made up his bench in recent matches.
The Sunderland boss lined up with four academy graduates as substitutes for the visit of Stoke City on Saturday, and five for the FA Cup third round tie against Burnley the previous week.
None of them were given a single minute as Sunderland struggled to break down the Clarets and then got tonked by the Potters. Indeed, in those two games, David Moyes only utilised one substitute - 35-year-old John O'Shea.
So, the news - reported by the Sunderland Echo - that Ethan Robson has been denied the opportunity to go out on loan this month is somewhat surprising.
The 20-year-old central midfielder has only enjoyed one outing on the Sunderland first team bench this season - as an unused substitute in the single goal victory at home against Watford in December.
Robson would have benefited hugely from some league experience, but with Sunderland devoid of central midfield bodies due to lengthy lay-offs affecting Paddy McNair, Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff - plus repeated injuries this season suffered by the likes of Jack Rodwell and Steven Pienaar - perhaps David Moyes is keeping all of his middle-men at home just in case.
No Kone Against Togo
Ivory Coast have been playing Togo this evening in their African Cup of Nations opener. But, Sunderland's Lamine Kone is still absent from the squad. The centre-back picked up an injury in Sunderland's 4-1 demolition at the hands of Burnley over the Christmas period.
At this rate, he may be back in England quicker than he hoped.