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Advocaat elaborates on leaving Sunderland; City 'make move' on Pickford & Link to Pro-League striker

In this morning’s news roundup: Dick Advocaat has been talking again about his reasons for leaving Sunderland; Manchester City appear to have made the first move in the emerging battle to sign Jordan Pickford and David Moyes is said to be monitoring a striker knocking them in for Standard Liege.

Swansea City v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dick Advocaat comments on his Sunderland exit - again

Dick Advocaat, who quit Sunderland eighteen months ago, has come out on the attack in recent days as he finds himself under pressure at Fenerbahçe and he's made a few remarks comparing his situation to the one he found himself in at the Stadium of Light.

The veteran coach has again hinted at what was wrong when he agreed to take the Sunderland job on a permanent basis in the summer of 2015.

With the Turkish club not inhabiting their traditional top two spot in the Süper Lig and trailing Russian side Krasnador after their Europa League quarter-final first leg, Advocaat has faced some stern criticism from supporters of the Istanbul outfit.

Manchester United FC v Fenerbahce SK - UEFA Europa League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Now drawing parallels with his period at Sunderland, Advocaat has hinted he may walk out on Fenerbahçe and has offered to depart if the Turkish club can "find a better coach".

Speaking to the Russian media a few days ago, the 69-year-old compared his situation with the one he found himself in at Sunderland.

The Dutchman has again suggested the reality of the circumstances he found on Wearside - after he was persuaded to return following his success in leading an escape from relegation in 2015 - were far different to that which he was offered by owner Ellis Short:

At Sunderland we saved the team from relegation and were then offered a very nice contract. After accepting and continuing with my decision, I saw the facts were very different to the words given. That's why I decided to leave.

It's not the first time Advocaat has suggested he was convinced to return to Sunderland with the promise of what he expected being very different to what was actually delivered.

The veteran of 37 years in management has repeated his claim several times and suggested he was given assurances which were never met. And he's far from the only manager who has worked with owner Ellis Short to hint at something similar.

Sunderland re-linked to striker who's firing them in for Standard Liege

The sun has been shining across the North East this week as the region basks in a little very early spring sunshine. It's almost been enough to set us off longing for summer.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Shirt sleeves at the Stadium of Light
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

And on that note, the transfer window opens again in 18 weeks' time. In Sunderland's present predicament and the small matter of which division the club will be playing in next season still to conclude, transfer gossip is not really of much interest. But still....

Standard Liege striker, Ishak Belfodil, was linked with a move to Sunderland in the January transfer window. In fact, David Moyes was said to be actually in discussion with the Belgian club about signing him last month.

Parma FC v US Citta di Palermo - Serie A
Ishak Belfodil in 2015
Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Indeed, the Algerian was rumoured to be a target for several English clubs. Belfodil was thought to be on the verge of signing for Everton, only for something to put Ronald Koeman off at the last minute who then decided to look elsewhere. Swansea City swooped swiftly after and lodged a bid of 14-million-euros for the 25-year-old on deadline day, but all of that came to nought and he stayed where he is.

Now Italian gossip-site, Calciomercato, claim Sunderland are still monitoring the player who has scored 9 goals in 22 appearances in the Jupiler Pro League this season.

Belfodil started his senior career at Lyon before moving to Italy where he had spells with Bologna, Parma and Inter Milan. Standard Liege signed him last summer on a one year contract but after his aborted move to Everton, the Belgian club tied him down onto a longer deal which now expires in the summer of 2018.

But all does not appear to be rosy in the Liege garden in which Belfodil finds himself. The player hit out at the Belgian club recently on social media and criticised his employers for 'hanging its dirty laundry out in public' in discussing his failed move to Everton.

The 6ft 4in striker is rumoured to be worth £8m and may well be on the move again come the summer.

City 'instruct Sunderland' to keep them updated on Pickford

Jordan Pickford will be back in the Sunderland squad either as number one or at least on the bench for the trip to Everton on Saturday, so the Premier League's top clubs will be back to monitoring his progress.

Sunderland v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With Sunderland said to be expecting to lose England's most promising goalkeeper in the summer, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are the top trio thought to be monitoring the situation.

Now, according to one report, Pep Guardiola's billionaires have instructed Sunderland to keep them informed of any movement if and when any rival club makes an approach for the 22-year-old as City attempt to shift themselves to the front of the queue.

With Sunderland standing on the precipice of relegation to the Championship - yet again - and faced with a significant financial crisis, as demonstrated by yesterday's announcement of redundancies, Jordan Pickford, and the fee he might attract from a bidding war involving the Premier League's top clubs, represents the proverbial crown jewels at the Stadium of Light.