New chief scout
Sunderland are set to appoint Preston talent-spotter Ian Miller as chief scout. The 62-year-old veteran of a long playing and coaching career has previously worked with new boss Simon Grayson at North End, Huddersfield and Leeds.
The former Blackburn, Doncaster and Swindon winger will replace Mick Doherty who departed the club last week having been appointed by David Moyes last summer.
Miller has a long association with Grayson and has coached at a host of clubs mainly in the north west including Blackburn, Blackpool, Leicester and Manchester City.
The Perth-born talent spotter enjoyed a lengthy playing career beginning at Bury in the early 1970s before ending his career at Scunthorpe and Stafford Rangers in the '90s.
It was at Blackburn where he earned a reputation as a thrilling winger, gaining the nickname 'Dusty'. Signed by former Sunderland assistant Bobby Saxton he made over 300 appearances for Rovers. He would later hail 'Sacko' as the best manager he ever worked with.
Meanwhile, Preston goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly took to twitter yesterday to deny he will be following Grayson to Sunderland. The former Sheffield United and Republic of Ireland stopper moved to reassure fans he will be staying at Deepdale.
I don't often comment on club matters but I can confirm that I will NOT be going to Sunderland. Thanks for even more messages off PNE Fans— Goalkeeping Skills (@Keepingskills) June 30, 2017
Not that he was asked to move to the Stadium of Light with Black Cats goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker confirmed as staying at Sunderland. But it does seem to be a growing trend for football folks to rule themselves out of jobs they were never offered.
Borini chuffed to be in Milan
Offically unveiled as an AC Milan player yesterday, Fabio Borini was positively beaming for the first time in months as he was presented to the media.
Arriving on loan with an option to make the deal a permanent one at the end of next season, the 26-year-old was positively gushing at signing for the Italian giants in one of the early transfer stories of the summer:
I am very very happy to be here, there is no better team for me to perform my job. They are excited and only little by little I'm realising how nice it will be to play in the San Siro.
Meanwhile, the man who masterminded the miracle that is one of the worst players in the Premier League landing at Milan - former Sunderland Director of Football Roberto De Fanti - was pictured exiting a taxi on his way to collect his cut of the deal.
And Milan chief executive Marco Fassone claimed he had wanted to sign Borini three years ago when he was with Inter.
High fives all round.
Asoro threatens another switch
Fresh from 17 minutes at the Under-21 European Championships, Sunderland forward Joel Asoro has been telling the media in his homeland he has offers from Nigeria and England for his international future and will consider a switch if he cannot get a game in the Swedish senior squad.
Born to Nigerian parents, the 18-year-old has caused some consternation in Scandinavia by telling TV station SVT he will switch allegiances to the nation of his ancestry if he can't get a game for Sweden:
They [the Nigerian authorities] have contacted me. We'll see what happens if I do not come up in the 'A' squad in Sweden. If it does not go well for me I would probably opt for Nigeria.
Further, the youngster who has recently been boasting he will leave Sunderland too if he isn't guaranteed first team football, goes onto bizarrely claim the England national team may also be an option for him if he isn't selected for Sweden:
I have lived in England for two years, so you can play for their national team.
Asoro will be with the Sunderland Under-23 squad when they travel to Austria next week for a training camp with the first team.