Sunderland 'one of seven' in talks with goalkeeper
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is in talks with seven clubs over a summer transfer - one of whom is Sunderland.
After six years spent graduating from academy prospect to farmed out bit-part at Old Trafford, the 24-year-old was on loan at Aston Villa during the tail end of last season and Johnstone impressed under Steve Bruce.
That spell was the 'keeper's ninth out on loan in his Manchester United career with previous stints at the likes of Oldham, Scunthorpe, Walsall, Yeovil, Doncaster and Preston.
With Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira in situ as deputies to David de Gea - who may yet leave for Real Madrid - Johnstone has little realistic future at United and is free to leave this summer.
Villa would like to sign Johnstone permanently with Sunderland, Leicester and Watford named as part of the seven-club throng keen to land the goalie when the transfer window opens.
With Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone both potential departures from the Stadium of Light in the coming weeks, Sunderland will be in the market for goalkeepers this close season.
Aside from Johnstone, the Black Cats have already been linked with French 'keeper Cédric Carrasso who was released from Bordeaux at the end of the Ligue 1 term a couple of weeks ago.
The 35-year-old had been subject to enquiries from David Moyes last year and his availability now is said to have piqued Sunderland's interest again.
However, Carasso is also attracting attention from French champions Monaco who are stepping up their search for a number 2 to Croatian international Danijel Subašić.
Advocaat on Lens' future
With Jeremain Lens on the brink of swapping Fenerbahçe for fierce city rivals Beşiktaş, Dick Advocaat has told the Turkish press he has offered no advice to the player who has been with him at four different clubs in the past.
Speaking ahead of yesterday's final fixture in Turkish football before he takes up the reins at the Netherlands national team, Advocaat insisted he does not tell Lens what to do:
Lens did not ask me about this idea, it is his decision...I am not the one who makes decisions here, the players of the clubs decide.
With the Turkish season now over, and Lens' loan contract with Fenerbahçe set to expire, the 29-year-old's future rests with Sunderland. But he is widely expected to join Super Lig champions Beşiktaş in time for next season dependant on a fee to be negotiated with his British owners.
The only remaining interest in one of the most pointless Sunderland signings in recent years is how much the Black Cats can recoup from selling on Jeremain Lens. Beşiktaş are rumoured to be readying a three-year deal for the Dutch winger and are hoping to land him for a budget figure.
O'Shea set to be hit in the pocket
Fresh from suggestions over the weekend that he's on the brink of leaving Sunderland, veteran defender John O'Shea has been named as one of a host of celebrities and footballers set to be hit with a hefty tax bill.
O'Shea has been named as an investor in the controversial Ingenious film schemes along with other luminaries such as David Beckham, Gary Lineker, Ant and Dec and his Irish manager Martin O'Neill.
The group lost their most recent court bid last week to overturn a huge bill. HMRC have been successful in arguing the investment scheme was an aggressive way of avoiding tax and up to 1,400 investors have been ordered to stump up a total of around £420m - before interest is added - to repay the taxpayer.
Borini in talks with Milan?
Fabio Borini to Celtic links resurfaced late last week with the 26-year-old still said to be a target for Brendan Rodgers. But Italy remains the most likely destination for the Sunderland forward this summer.
Lazio and AC Milan appear to lead the race for his signature. Reports in Italy have claimed the latter had a delegation of executives at last night's Champions League final who intend remaining in this country to follow up a bit of business - which potentially includes discussions with Borini.
Certainly Roberto De Fanti, the agent of the former Liverpool player, was reported to be in Milan last week to commence negotiations.
And AC Milan are seeking to add significant strength to their forward line this summer. The Serie A giants are said to be in talks with Celtic's Moussa Dembele and are also thought to be eyeing Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.
To be honest, the name of Fabio Borini looks a little comical when mentioned in the same breath as those hot prospects of European firepower. There have been suggestions that the player has turned down the chance of a move to Celtic because the Scottish champions could not meet his wage demands.