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Gossip: Sunderland will move for Rangers striker for budget-friendly fee, but deal not yet close

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The weekend’s gossip would suggest Sunderland are close to agreeing a deal for Rangers forward Martyn Waghorn. And whilst there appears to be some truth in the rumour, a deal may be a way off just yet - but the former Black Cats academy product would come at a knock-down price.

Celtic v Rangers - Scottish Cup Semi-Final Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

According to gossip over the weekend, Rangers forward Martyn Waghorn is on Sunderland’s radar, but we understand talks for the former Black Cats academy graduate are some way from completion.

The 27-year-old did not feature for the Gers yesterday in the opening round of the Scottish Premiership due to suspension.

Pedro Caixinha’s side beat Motherwell by two goals to one with a brace from midfielder Graham Dorrans, a summer signing from Norwich who was loosely linked to Sunderland earlier this month.

Waghorn has been said to be interesting the Black Cats for a couple of weeks now as Simon Grayson looks to bolster his forward line since the departure of Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini.

Rangers v Hamilton Academical - Scottish Cup Quarter-Final
Waghorn scored 16 goals last season
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

James Vaughan has been brought in from Bury after a stellar season in League One last term but has yet to find the net after featuring in a handful of pre-season friendlies before Friday’s opener against Derby.

Lewis Grabban lined up alongside Vaughan in Sunderland’s first league game of the term and neatly opened his account with a first half penalty.

Grayson will surely be looking to add a further couple of front men to his ranks yet however, although youngster Josh Maja impressed in pre-season and will be knocking on the door for a chance.

Sunderland v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
Lewis Grabban steps up to score Sunderland’s equaliser on Friday night
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Preston hit man Jordan Hugill has been linked with Sunderland ever since his former boss at Deepdale took the Stadium of Light job. Birmingham and at least one unnamed club are said to have had bids for the Lilywhites striker rejected on Friday.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy last week indicated that Preston have slapped a £6m price tag on Hugill - a figure which may yet price Sunderland, as well as the Tractor Boys, out of the battle to sign the Middlesbrough-born target man.

Going into his fifth full week in charge, Black Cats boss Grayson is seemingly still operating in the transfer market with little more than a portion of any funds he can raise from player trading.

The sale of Jeremain Lens to Besiktas has now been confirmed but with the fee undisclosed - reports suggest the deal was worth up to £5m - how much, if any, will be allocated to Grayson is impossible to say.

Waghorn will be a budget addition and likely has little future at Ibrox after Rangers splashed a little cash this summer. The former England Under-21 international will probably be on the move before the transfer window shuts.

Ipswich are thought to have an eye on the forward who has scored 27 goals in 57 appearances for Rangers - the Daily Mail have claimed this morning that the Suffolk club have had a bid totalling £1m accepted for the forward - but the South Shields-born striker is understood to be keen on a return to the Stadium of Light, the ground from which he departed in 2010.