With just over a week to go until the big Championship kick-off, Sunderland are continuing the hunt for reinforcements with the latest transfer gossip linking Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton and Liverpool winger Ryan Kent with a move to the Stadium of Light.
The Mirror suggest the Black Cats are monitoring Alan Hutton’s situation at Villa Park as the West Midlands outfit ponder cashing in on the 32-year-old who only has a year left on his contract.
Hutton spent a few months at Sunderland back in 2010, making 11 appearances on loan from Tottenham. Steve Bruce was thought to be keen to make the move a permanent one but was unwilling to pay Spurs’ asking price, and the player returned to White Hart Lane.
The Scotland international - who retired from international football at the end of last year - had revived his career somewhat at the Stadium of Light with some decent displays. Hutton spent a further year at Tottenham before moving on to Aston Villa in 2011.
The right-back has made over 120 appearances for Villa and turned out 34 times in the Championship last season but he faces increased competition for a starting spot next season and may be open to the prospect of a move.
Hutton is the third Villa player to be linked to Sunderland recently, with gossip still suggesting Simon Grayson is keen on fellow claret-and-blue defender Tommy Elphick and striker Ross McCormack.
The Black Cats are blessed with numbers for the right-back spot, however, with Billy Jones, Donald Love and Adam Matthews at the club. Youngster Josh Robson is also available as back up and may be knocking on the door for a first team opportunity. Signing Hutton would likely mean one of that senior trio will be on his way though before the transfer window shuts.
Meanwhile, Liverpool youngster Ryan Kent is said to be wanted by up to ten clubs on loan next season, one of whom is Sunderland.
The 20-year-old spent last season at Barnsley after a stint at Coventry the previous year. Kent was named the Tykes Young Player of the Year for last term and the left winger made 44 appearances whilst at Oakwell, scoring 3 goals.
Reports suggest Hull City are leading the way in the battle to sign the Oldham-born player, who has yet to make his senior debut for the Anfield club. A host of other Championship clubs are keen to secure his services including Leeds and Aston Villa. Kent was also linked with a £6m move to Bournemouth earlier in the summer which never materialised.
Sunderland may yet lose wide men Jeremain Lens and Wahbi Khazri before the transfer window shuts at the end of August and Kent could fill some of that void.