After a muted end to last week - one which had promised much - Sunderland’s transfer business looks to be hotting up, with boss Simon Grayson hoping to close off a couple of key deals during the course of the next few days.
Reports that Bournemouth striker Lewis Grabban is expected on Wearside today to conclude talks about a season-long loan move are now widespread. The 29-year-old striker will fit in a medical whilst he’s up here and could be unveiled within the next 48 hours if all goes well.
Grabban appears to fit the mould currently being utilised by Grayson, for experienced players somewhere in their late 20’s to early 30’s with some Championship pedigree and a career to kick-start as the model by which to fill out his squad.
The much-travelled forward has never quite made the grade in his flirtations with the Premier League but he has a decent track-record in extended patches in the second and third tiers of English football.
And with Sunderland needing to sign several players to weigh in with goals for the Championship campaign about to start, Grayson will be hoping he can get something out of Grabban that hasn’t been firing for a few seasons now.
Likewise, fellow striker Ross McCormack is another player looking to get his reputation back on track who has been linked with Sunderland.
After a flurry of initial reports that Grayson is close to concluding a loan deal for the 30-year-old Villa player, all has gone a little quiet in the last 24 hours.
The Scotland striker is surplus to requirements in Steve Bruce’s squad and after a big money move to the West Midlands last summer, the forward who was a hit at Leeds under Grayson is in need of a fresh start as he nears his last few seasons at the higher levels of the league pyramid.
Further, the Mirror claimed last night that Sunderland now lead the race to land McCormack's Villa teammate, Tommy Elphick, who could yet join McCormack at the Stadium of Light in a double deal.
The 29-year-old defender was thought to be close to joining Birmingham City with Leeds United also monitoring the situation.
Elsewhere, reports over the weekend claimed Sunderland have made a bid and agreed personal terms for County Durham-born goalkeeper Jason Steele.
The Black Cats are said to have made an initial offer of £500,000 for the Blackburn stopper. But with Tony Mowbray going on record yesterday to insist he is under no pressure to sell any of his assets, after the Venkys-driven outfit were relegated to League One last season, Rovers may be tempted to hold out for a better deal.
26-year-old Steele was left on the bench for Blackburn’s friendly with Grimsby last night. Whether that hints at an imminent move away from Ewood Park, who knows.
Finally, there are claims that Sunderland remain interested in another Bournemouth player who is free to leave the Vitality Stadium this summer.
Rumours suggest the Black Cats are set for talks over defensive midfielder Marc Wilson. The Republic of Ireland international is another Cherries player who has been told he has no future on the south coast by boss Eddie Howe.
The 29-year-old has been tipped to return to West Brom after spending the second half of last season on loan at the Hawthorns. Wilson has a fairly long history of working with Baggies’ boss Tony Pulis, having worked with him during 140-odd appearances for Stoke City.
Wilson may be considered a somewhat underwhelming permanent signing for Pulis however. The West Brom boss went on record last week to express his “frustration” and “annoyance” with the financial limitations being placed on him by the Hawthorns hierarchy in the transfer window so far.
There are suggestions that Hull City have joined Sunderland and West Brom in pursuit of the 6ft 2in utility man.
Grayson and his men travel to Scunthorpe tonight for the Black Cats final pre-season friendly on the road, before wrapping up the summer schedule with a showpiece fixture against Celtic on Saturday at the Stadium of Light.