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ROUNDUP: Sunderland top-scorer closes on Cardiff move; hint that Chelsea youngster on his way?

The most recent Roker Roundup focuses upon transfer news as the window gears-up with less than a week left before the deadline.

Chelsea v Norwich City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Cardiff One-Up On Grabbs

Former Sunderland loanee Lewis Grabban looks set to join Championship high-flyers Cardiff City, mere weeks since cancelling his season-long loan at the Stadium of Light. The news broke yesterday courtesy of Alan Nixon of The Sun.

Nixon claims that Cardiff are in the final phase of talks to sign Grabban, who will pickup a heft salary from the South-Wales club, but does not mention whether or not the move is a loan or a permanent transfer; likely the latter considering Bournemouth’s role in his recall was in order to recoup funds.

Rumours have circled throughout the entirety of the transfer window on where Grabban’s destination would be, with presumably half the division interested, but it is the Bluebirds who have seemingly won the race.

In Grabban, Cardiff are getting a proven goalscorer at this level - a player who should be an excellent foil to the brute physicality and tremendous work-rate of fellow-front man Kenneth Zohore.

Where do Sunderland go from here? Well, we’ve been resigned to losing Grabban for some time now, and he hasn’t featured for the club since he scored in the 1-1 draw against Birmingham just before Christmas. Despite many misgivings over his work-rate and overall contribution, a goalscorer is priceless - and especially one in a relegation battle.

Our first priority must be replacing the goals which have sorely dried-up of late, so much in fact that our whole starting eleven on Saturday has scored a combined six goals in the championship this season - 50% of which have came from George Honeyman alone.

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Ethan Ampadu unselected for Chelsea

Chelsea crashed out of the CARABAO Cup last night after a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Arsenal. The game would likely have been of little interest to many Sunderland fans, bar the chance to watch some genuinely good football, but keen observers had noticed one glaring omission from Antonio Conte’s squad selection.

17-year-old central defender Ethan Ampadu was completely left out by the Italian last night, despite featuring in every round of the competition so far, playing ninety minutes in the previous three games against Arsenal, Bournemouth and Everton.

Chelsea U21 v Oxford United - Checkatrade Trophy Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images

This has intensified the claim that he is to leave on loan this month, but in reality I’d merely suspect that Conte decided to go with his first-choice back line of Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen and César Azpilicueta. David Luiz was named on the bench and Gary Cahill, who has started every game in the EFL Cup alongside Ampadu, was likewise dropped.

As Roker Report writer James Henchard wrote on Monday, Ampadu has been linked heavily with a move to re-join the man who has already given him his first Wales start at the tender age of 16, but Stamford Bridge observers simply don’t think the transfer will go through. Conte is similar to Mauricio Pochettino in the aspect that both prefer to blood promising academy prospects in the first-team rather than sending them out on loan.