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Seeking firepower; Sunderland efforts to sign two strikers sparks intense interest from rivals

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Sunderland are in desperate need of new strikers with the departures of Lewis Grabban and now James Vaughan, but enquiries have alerted others to the availability of targets.

Manchester City EDS v Sunderland - Academy Stadium Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Sunderland’s interest in Jon Walters and Lukas Nmecha has caught the attention of other clubs bidding to land strikers in the January transfer window.

The Black Cats will have to battle out with rivals to sign those they want with other suitors alerted to the potential availability of the men Chris Coleman is pursuing.

With the two senior front-men who represented the club during the first half of the season now departed, the Black Cats will have to rely on teenager Josh Maja to lead the line at Cardiff City tomorrow. Top-scorer Lewis Grabban returned to Bournemouth a week ago and James Vaughan departed for Wigan today, leaving Chris Coleman’s men desperately short up front.

But had the Sunderland boss been hoping for the swift arrival of either Walters or Nmecha, then a waiting game has now started with the situations of both becoming muddied by interest from others.

Veteran attacker Walters is keen to get his campaign back on track following a lengthy lay-off since joining Burnley from Stoke last summer. The 34-year-old has also been linked with a move to Aston Villa and there will be other clubs in the Championship keen on signing the Republic of Ireland international on a short-term deal to the end of the season.

Sunderland v Stoke City - Premier League
Jon Walters caught in a ‘pose’ playing at the Stadium of Light for Stoke a few years ago
Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Manchester City striker Nmecha has now signed a new deal to keep him at the Etihad, which was one of the obstacles preventing him making a move on loan in January, but the youngster will have a pick of teams hoping to secure his services as the league season gets back underway following last weekend’s FA Cup programme.

The 19-year-old penned a new three-year contract this week to snuff out interest from other Premier League clubs hoping to sign him; but both club and player are keen to get him out to the Championship to gain some league experience.

It’s understood Sunderland made an early move to do just that and have spoken with the England U20 international’s representatives, but as at this evening the Black Cats have had no update from Man City which is causing concern that other interested parties have made their move.

Leicester City v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Quarter-Final
Lukas Nmeche celebrates scoring in the Carabao Cup

Other names mentioned this week as being of interest to Sunderland include Derby County outcast Chris Martin and Bolton’s Gary Madine.

The former appears to have several suitors including Reading, Fulham and Sunderland with Rams boss Gary Rowett confirming this afternoon that he’s received enquiries but no firm bid as yet. Martin has only started five league games this season and is fourth-choice striker at Pride Park behind David Nugent, Sam Winnall and Matej Vydra.

Madine has already been the subject of supposed bid from Cardiff and the Black Cats are unlikely to be able to compete in any cash auction for his services. That said, Bolton appear to be standing resolute and have maintained their position that any offers for the Birtley-native will be rejected.