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SAFC Target Watch: Seven UK-based players on Moyes' radar; What chance Sunderland landing them?

Prepare to be dazzled; Sunderland have been linked with a host of hot-prospects from the second-tiers of British football in recent weeks. Here's the latest on seven of them and our current chances of landing them.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images

As David Moyes and Martin Bain attempt to transform Sunderland's fortunes by rebuilding the club into a hub for young - or youngish - British-based talent, we consider six such players who fit the bill and have been linked with a move to the Black Cats this summer.

Reports last week claimed Moyes has identified targets and we know he has been busy personally scouting at grounds around the country. So with British seasons in various leagues either done or about to be done, what's the chances of us luring this lot?

Aaron Mooy - central midfield

Not a particularly young man, the 26-year-old Australian - on loan at Huddersfield from Manchester City - has surpassed all expectations in his first season in England none the less.

A-League Rd 18 - Newcastle v Melbourne
Mooy during his Melbourne City days before a summer move to Manchester City. He suits red-and-white doesn't he?
Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images

In scintillating form in the Championship, Mooy has been picking up various 'player of the season' gongs at the Terriers who secured their spot in the Play-Offs prior to yesterday's thumping off Cardiff.

Mooy was subdued in his Super Second-tier Sunday outing yesterday. He now faces a final promotion push for Huddersfield in the do-or-die encounter to come against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Mooy has been linked heavily with Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Sunderland. However, the player's agent has insisted the midfielder will be a Premier League player next season rather than a Championship one.


Jason Cummings - Striker

David Moyes took in a Hibernian match in March and since then the Sunderland boss is assumed to have been watching either Hibs' Jason Cummings or midfielder John McGinn or his defensive teammate Efe Ambrose.

The former pair in that trio were both nominated for Scottish Championship Player of the Year awards as the Leith-based club have secured promotion to the Premiership.

Striker Cummings is hot property north of the border and is a supposed target for Rangers plus a host of English clubs, having been previously linked with the likes of QPR and Barnsley earlier in the season.

The 21-year-old has scored 19 goals in Scotland's second-tier in Hibs' promotion campaign and came close to scoring the winner in the final match of the season yesterday. Hibernian turned down an offer of nearly £2m last year for the striker so bids upwards will be required to land him.


John McGinn - Midfield

Another Hibs gem who boss Neil Lennon faces a battle to keep hold of. At 22-year-old McGinn is the Leith outfit's other rising star in Scottish football.

Scotland Training Session
John McGinn with our old 'favourite' Steven Fletcher during a Scotland warm up session earlier this year
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Crowned PFA Scotland 'Championship Player of the Year', the midfielder has been strongly linked with Celtic. The Daily Mail are just one of the newspapers to have recently suggested Sunderland will battle the Scottish giants to land the young central midfielder.


Efe Ambrose - Defender

Completing the Hibs trio, Ambrose has been on loan at Easter Road from Celtic and has gone some way to rehabilitating himself from criticism levelled at him at Parkhead in recent years.

Celtic Training and Press Conference
Efe Ambrose with Celtic man-of-the-moment Moussa Dembele last year
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

At 28-years-old, Ambrose is technically in his prime and is one of the names linked to Sunderland since that David Moyes scouting expedition.

The Nigerian has said he will consider remaining at Hibs after his successful season with Neil Lennon's side.


Connor Mahoney - midfielder

Mahoney missed yesterday's relegation disaster at Blackburn with a thigh strain. With Tony Mowbray's side slipping into League One with crippling debts and a continual Venkys-driven crisis, the likelihood that Rovers will lose one of their star men this summer has increased markedly.

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
Connor Mahoney flooring Paul Pogba in the FA Cup
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

And that will be music to David Moyes' ears. Mahoney’s contract at Ewood Park expires this summer and the 20-year-old will be free to talk to other clubs.

Sunderland will still have to pay a nominal development fee for the youngster but considering the club will be seeking to rake in over £10m for wide / attacking want-aways Wahbi Khazri and Fabio Borini, that would be a drop in the ocean.

Blackburn’s head of football operations, Paul Senior, stepped down yesterday once Rovers were condemned to the drop and he had previously boasted of tying Mahoney down on a long term deal which never materialised. Another costly mistake to add to the Venky's chaos at the former Premier League champions.


Tammy Abraham - Striker

Abraham, like Mooy above, may be another youngster to have impressed in the Championship this season who believes he can take a crack at the Premier League.

Derby County v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
'Brrrr' - Those chilly midweek Championship nights at the SoL might have been too cold for Abraham anyway
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The Chelsea striker who has been such a hit at Bristol City, has been linked with Aston Villa and Sunderland as well as being much coveted by the Robins themselves for whom the 19-year-old has scored 23 goals this season.

But with his stock seemingly rising by the day so has his value and Abraham looks destined to land a huge pay rise - £50,000 a week has already been hinted at in the press - and a shot at the top tier with Everton, Leicester and Brighton all linked in recent days.


Marc Roberts - defender

Linked with Sunderland by a host of newspapers last month, Marc Roberts has had an impressive season at Barnsley. The 6ft 4in centre-half is captain at Oakwell and has excelled under former Sunderland man Paul Heckingbottom.

Barnsley v Northampton Town - EFL Cup
Marc Roberts looking almost Kirchhoff-esque
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

A £5m asking price for his services would leave change left over from sales of Lamine Kone and possibly Papy Djilobodji.

Roberts missed the final two games of the Championship season but picked up Barnsley's Player of the Year award.

Sunderland may face competition from Aston Villa for the 26-year-old and with Burnley rumoured to have been after him in January, a Premier League club may yet take a punt on him.