Hot on the heels of Liverpool’s Ovie Ejaria, Everton’s David Henen could be next on his way to join Sunderland but the Black Cats are still hanging on to hear if Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha will be freed to join until the end of the season.
As the fevered final hours of the January transfer window begin, Chris Coleman and his team have locked down in Birmingham for tonight’s relegation six-pointer but all will be keeping one eye on securing a couple of last minute deals before tomorrow’s deadline.
Certainly Toffees youngster Henen has been on his way somewhere today - via a Virgin train service - and whispers from Merseyside reckon he’s bound for Wearside...
The 21-year-old joined the Toffees in 2015 but has yet to make his first team debut for the Goodison outfit. It had been thought Henen could be sold this month though Everton have supposedly received no bids. The young forward had been strongly linked with a January move to either Marseille or Lille but nothing concrete appears to have been forthcoming.
That would mean a last minute loan would make sense for all parties, especially for a Sunderland side looking to add bodies and options to their attack, though it isn’t yet clear whether Henen is set for a permanent or temporary exit from Goodison.
Henen played youth football with Virton, Standard Liège and Anderlecht, before moving on loan to French club Monaco II on loan in September 2013 and then signing for Olympiakos in 2014.
From there the Belgium youth international joined Everton on loan, before signing a three-year-deal in the summer of 2015 for an initial fee of around £200,000.
Turning out eight times in Premier League 2 this season, Henen has scored three goals for the Everton Under-23s and played on the left wing or as centre-forward.
Sunderland already have Everton youngsters Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway on loan for the season, though the latter is reported to have asked to leave the Stadium of Light and rejoin MK Dons - the club he began his career at as a youth.
Browning has proven to be something of a success at the heart of the Black Cats defence, making 21 appearances under first Simon Grayson and latterly Chris Coleman.
Henen spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Fleetwood Town, making 11 appearances for the League One club. An all-round offensive player, the youngster is good with both feet and can play on either flank though playing as a second-striker is considered his best position. A pacey player, Henen holds the ball up well and has a decent shot on him.
Meanwhile, Sunderland are still keen on landing Manchester City starlet Lukas Nmecha. The 19-year-old is currently nursing an injury but one that isn’t serious and the Black Cats have been desperate to add the England U19 starlet since before the transfer window opened.