Chatter continues that James Vaughan will be allowed to leave Sunderland on loan this month, with Wigan his likely destination.
The Black Cats will need a couple of strikers should the summer signing depart hot on the heels of Lewis Grabban. Derby County’s Chris Martin and Brighton forward Sam Baldock have been named as two Chris Coleman is taking a look at.
Certainly any January move for Bolton’s Gary Madine looks improbable with the Trotters desperate to hang on to their top-scorer amidst an initial cash bid from Cardiff City. Sunderland are surely unable to compete in any bidding war.
Derby’s Martin is a typical Coleman frontman. A burly number 9, in need of a career boost, the 29-year-old has only scored once this season with his Rams outings limited to introductions from the bench.
Martin has also been linked with a move to Wolves but the Championship’s table-toppers likely have their sights set elsewhere, with an eye-watering bid for AC Milan’s Andre Silva the current gossip in the West Midlands.
Derby are up to second in the table after a strong Christmas period but Martin will continue to find his opportunities limited behind top scorer Matej Vydra and David Nugent. Sunderland would be looking at a loan deal of course, but the 6ft hit man has spent much of his career at temporary stops.
Martin was loan at Fulham last season in a somewhat controversial move. After learning Steve McClaren had rejoined Derby, the striker attempted to engineer a return to Pride Park only for Slavisa Jokanovic to block his escape attempt.
Elsewhere, Brighton outcast Sam Baldock has also been mooted as a target for Sunderland. The 28-year-old can’t get a look-in under Chris Hughton and has only featured twice in the Premier League this season.
The 5ft 7in nimble striker fired one goal in three last season as the Seagulls gained promotion from the Championship.
This is Baldock’s third term with Brighton and though he hasn’t always been prolific, he did have a good record at Bristol City before that and MK Dons earlier in his career. An injury-plagued season with West Ham under Sam Allardyce in 2011-12 also saw him hit five goals in his first six starts for the Hammers.
Baldock’s younger brother George scored for Sheffied United against us on Boxing Day. Sam would arrive at the Stadium of Light with bags of Championship experience and a loan spell at Sunderland may make sense for all concerned.