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Claims Sunderland will let James Vaughan leave; could exciting Man City prospect take his place?

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Reports this morning claim Sunderland will allow James Vaughan to depart in January; could an audacious swoop for the pick of Man City’s young talent unearth an exciting replacement?

Stoke City v Manchester City - FA Youth Cup Semi Final: Second Leg Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

The Sun claim Sunderland will allow James Vaughan to end his disappointing stint at the Stadium of Light by departing in the January transfer window; and the Black Cats could replace him with a Manchester City youngster scoring goals for fun in Premier League 2.

Word on the grapevine is that Sunderland are weighing up a bid to sign 19-year-old striker Lukas Nmecha on loan until the end of the season. Chris Coleman’s side would face competition with a host of other Championship sides to lure the England U19 striker though.

England v Portugal - 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Final
Nmecha scored in the semi-final and final of the 2017 UEFA U19 Championship
Photo by Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

Derby County have already been credited with an interest in Nmecha as have Premier League Everton. But with Big Sam Allardyce armed with a big budget ahead of the January transfer window, the Toffees are likely to have set their sights set elsewhere. Reports claim Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun is lined up to make a £25m switch to Goodison Park.

With Sunderland already braced to lose top-scorer Lewis Grabban in January, Chris Coleman will be scouring the market for reinforcements up front. Teenager Josh Maja made his first start for the Wearsiders in yesterday’s win at Nottingham Forest, but the Black Cats boss is light on striking options and Nmecha should have a decent shout of getting some game time in a red-and-white shirt which would appeal to City.

Vaughan has been a disappointment since his arrival in the summer with just two goals in 20-odd appearances. With the goals dried up, the former Bury man has been unable to recreate his free-scoring exploits in League One last season.

Bury v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One
James Vaughan was scoring goals for fun last season in League One with Bury
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

The report in the Sun claims the 29-year-old is likely to appeal to clubs seeking firepower in English football’s third-tier, though his reported £15,000-a-week wages may prove a stumbling block.

Highly-rated Nmecha has hit seven goals in 8 outings for Man City’s Under-23s this season and made his senior debut earlier this month in the EFL Cup, scoring a penalty in the Etihad side’s shoot-out victory over Leicester City.

The 6ft striker was born in Hamburg to Nigerian and German parents but relocated to this country as a child with his family. Eligible for Germany and Nigeria, he opted to represent England and scored the winning goals in both the semi-final and final to lead the Young Lions in securing the U19 European Championship title earlier this year.

Purely gossip doing the rounds at this stage, but presumably Sunderland still have an open line of communication with the Manchester City hierarchy after taking Jason Denayer on loan last season.

Nmecha has already scored a hatfull against Black Cats squads. He was on the score sheet for the City U19s in October against Sunderland, and whacked three past us in Premier League 2 last season.