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Three Young-ish, Cheap-ish, British-ish Championship players linked with Sunderland, Who are they?

Now that we're pretty sure which division we'll be playing in next season, transfer rumours have commenced in earnest. Sunderland have been linked with three Championship players over the weekend. All are young-ish, cheap-ish and British-ish - so they tick David Moyes' boxes.

Huddersfield Town v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

According to the Sun, Sunderland are interested in three players currently impressing in the Championship. Fitting really, seeing as that's where David Moyes' team are heading. And the trio all tick the boxes - cheap-ish, young-ish and British - except for one who's Australian, but he did start his football career as a youth in England - so he's British-ish.

Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, currently on loan at Aston Villa is reportedly back on the radar.

The 24-year-old rose through the ranks at United and has been sent out of Old Trafford for numerous spells at Championship and lower league outfits to learn his trade.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship
Sam Johnstone at St James Park last month
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Johnstone spent the 2014-15 season at Preston and helped Simon Grayson's side win promotion to the second tier via the play-offs. Returning to Manchester United he was soon back at Deepdale when Sunderland recalled Jordan Pickford in December 2015.

The former England Under-20 goalkeeper was rumoured to be interesting David Moyes in January when Pickford started attracting attention from various top clubs and the fresh links are easy to make with the Sunderland stopper almost certain to leave the Stadium of Light in the summer.

However, Steve Bruce last week revealed he had held preliminary talks with Jose Mourinho about extending Johnstone's stay at Villa Park. Despite a difficult start to Championship football, the Manchester United 'keeper has established himself and kept seven clean sheets in his last eight matches.

When he joined Villa in January, Johnstone claimed he had turned down offers from Premier League clubs and it's certainly possible that Sunderland enquired after him. Jordan Pickford was injured at the time and Moyes was preparing himself for bids landing on his desk for the Black Cats' hot prospect.

Barnsley's Marc Roberts is next to feature on Moyes' radar according to that same report in the Sun.

The 6ft 4in centre-half is captain at Oakwell and has proven himself at Championship level since his signing from Halifax in 2015. Barnsley have had a solid season and are managed by former Sunderland Paul Heckingbottom who joined the club in 1996 but failed to make an appearance in red-and-white before moving to Darlington.

Roberts has been a mainstay in Heckingbottom's defence and according to reports would fetch a price of around £5m.

Blackburn Rovers V Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship
Marc Roberts of Barnsley scoring against Blackburn at the weekend
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Sunderland will almost certainly be in the market for a central defender in the summer with Lamine Kone likely itching to be away and the future intentions of John O'Shea unclear, with the Republic of Ireland captain out of contract in the summer. The 35-year-old is thought to be keen on continuing his playing career with the World Cup in Russia a target next year.

Finally, Manchester City's Aaron Mooy has been impressing on loan at Huddersfield this season and will have a host of suitors in the summer - one of whom is supposedly David Moyes.

Born in Sydney, Mooy began his football career as a youth prospect at Bolton Wanderers before spending two years in Scotland with St Mirren and subsequently returning to Australia to play for Western Sydney Wanderers and then Melbourne City.

Huddersfield Town v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship
Aaron Mooy celebrates scoring for Huddersfield against Norwich last week
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola is expected to assess the Australian midfielder's chances of making the grade at City this summer and he could yet get a chance at the Etihad to provide competition in the middle to Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.

Mooy has been one of the stars of Huddersfield's promotion push and he has potential to lie deep as a playmaker or further forward as a number ten. He signed for Manchester City from Australian sister club Melbourne last summer and had barely landed in England before being sent out to South Yorkshire on loan.

England v Australia - International Friendly
Mooy was part of the Australian team which played against England at the Stadium of Light last May
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Midfield has been a problem for Sunderland all season with injuries adding to some dismal performers in the middle of the park. On present form, the bulk of the Black Cats midfielders would struggle to get a game in the Championship so the appeal of Mooy is obvious.

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