McCormack in on loan?
Footy website TEAMTalk claim Sunderland are ‘hopeful’ of completing the loan signing of Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack by the end of the week in time for Friday’s season opener against Derby.
The original source of the story looks pretty bona-fide too, so this one has every chance of coming off.
The ‘exclusive’ report suggests Villa and the Black Cats are locked in talks over how to share out the 30-year-old’s salary.
McCormack reportedly earns £50,000 a week in the West Midlands, a figure which would blow a hole in Simon Grayson’s wage budget.
The Scotland international has been told he has no place in Steve Bruce’s plans for the upcoming season but having signed for £12m last summer, Villa will get nowhere near that figure from any sale and are in damage limitation mode as the start of the season draws near.
McCormack had a poor season last term after his big money move, scoring just three goals before falling out with Bruce and being sent on loan for the final few months of the campaign to Nottingham Forest.
The former Fulham and Leeds attacker only made seven appearances for Forest before signing off the season early to go under the knife for cysts on his jaw.
Simon Grayson has already signed James Vaughan from Bury in a £500,000 deal and brought in Lewis Grabban on loan from Bournemouth as he restructures the Sunderland front-line since the departure of Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini.
Lens out on loan?
Meanwhile, reports in Turkey claim Jeremain Lens will join Besiktas within the next few days initially on loan with a view to making the signing a permanent one at the end of the season.
The Turkish champions have already had a bid for Lens rejected by Sunderland whilst Black Cats boss Simon Grayson offered a little update this afternoon in his press conference indicating the Dutchman is still injured and hasn’t been in training this week and telling the Chronicle he is almost certainly exit-bound.
Several Turkish outlets (including this one) have today claimed Lens will sign for an initial loan fee of 1.5 million euros followed by an option to make the deal permanent for a further 3 million next summer.
Lens signed for Sunderland two years ago in a deal thought to rise to £13m with add-ons. Signed from Dynamo Kiev, the Netherlands international played 20 Premier League games in his first season at the Stadium of Light scoring three goals.
After continued issues arose about the player’s attitude during Sam Allardyce’s spell as Black Cats manager, Lens was allowed to link back up with Advocaat last summer when the veteran coach took charge of Fenerbahce.
Lens proved to be a hit in Turkey with five goals in all competitions and a hatful of assists. He continued his impressive form once back in a Sunderland shirt during pre-season with hints of his individual quality capped with four goals - one each against Hibs, Livingston, Hartlepool and Bradford.