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Roundup: Sunderland defensive target set for Birmingham move? Watmore on his way back

In this morning’s roundup of the news: Is Tommy Elphick set to sidestep Sunderland in order to sign for Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City? Also, some positive news regarding Duncan Watmore’s injury - he’s almost ready.

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Danny Roberts

Elphick nearing Birmingham move?

Tommy Elphick has been continually linked with Sunderland throughout the summer, but that may be soon coming to an end as the manager of Birmingham City, Harry Redknapp, has publicly commented on his interest in the former Bournemouth defender.

Speaking to the press, he said:

I like Tommy and I followed Tommy’s career at Bournemouth.

He was the captain at Bournemouth, he was a leader, he was a fantastic character for Bournemouth in their rise through the divisions. He was an outstanding player for Bournemouth in the Premier League, so Tommy is a good player. If he’s available at the right price, he’s a player that would interest us – but it has to be the right price.

Whilst we’re fairly desperate for a new central defender, Elphick will be keen to move on as soon as possible in order to get regular game time and a move to Sunderland probably suits him less than one across the city to St Andrews.

Elphick is reportedly available for around £3 million - at that price, I say Redknapp can have him.

Watmore could we want than to see Duncan return?

Young forward Duncan Watmore is closing in on his return to fitness, having missed such a large chunk of last season through a knee injury sustained back in December.

Watmore tangled with Leicester defender Christian Fuchs in the game at the Stadium of Light and has been out ever since, only returning to light training this summer.

Sunderland v Leicester City - Premier League
Watmore has not been seen since his injury in early December 2016
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Speaking about Watmore’s progress, Simon Grayson said yesterday:

It will be the international break when he comes back but he is making good progress. He can’t wait to wear the red and white shirt again.

Hopefully he could be back for one of the first two games after the break. In terms of his calibre of player, I think he is one of the most talented here at the club. He has that energy, that pace, he has the work-rate the supporters love.

Even when I was at Preston we looked at getting him on loan but it wasn’t an option for us. He will be like a new signing for us. To lose him last year was a major blow for the club, Paddy McNair at the same time, those two lads were the same. They give you that energy you need around the pitch.

Carabao Cup Results

The first round of the Carabao Cup kicked off yesterday evening, with a host of Championship club picking up wins.

Our opponents at the weekend, Norwich City, won 3-2 at home to Swindon with a very strong side - only 3 changes were made to the team that drew 1-1 at the weekend with Fulham. Cameron Jerome, Wes Hoolahan and Jack Maddison got the goals - all in the first half.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Capital One Cup Third Round
The League Cup in all its glory
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Elsewhere, the only Championship side to lose was Preston North End, who travelled to Accrington Stanley and lost 3-2. Sunderland target Jordan Hugill did manage to bag himself a brace in the defeat, but Alex Neil and his team could not avoid the shock and have fallen out of the competition at the first hurdle.

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