Sunderland are frantically trying to push through a deal to add Ashley Fletcher on loan until the end of the season as a move to add Swansea striker Oliver McBurnie appears to have failed.
The Black Cats have been thwarted on all fronts as desperate attempts to add firepower have repeatedly failed as the transfer deadline draws near. Middlesbrough fringe player Fletcher represents roughly the final chance to add a senior striker before the window closes at 11pm tonight.
Sunderland have added 19-year-old Connor Shields to the squad this evening with the Albion Rovers youngster impressing on trial, but the search for a senior hit man continues.
After being linked with a move to Rangers and to Sunderland, it appears McBurnie will finally join Barnsley after a move to Oakwell fell through in the summer. The former Bradford man has failed to impress since joining Swansea in 2016.
That appears to leave all of Sunderland’s eggs in Ashley Fletcher’s basket but whether Middlesbrough will sanction a move may yet depend on other incomings and outgoings at the Riverside in the final hours of the window.
The Evening Gazette report that Chris Coleman had enquired about Fletcher earlier this month but had been initially rebuffed in his advances to add the 22-year-old on loan until the end of the season.
Tony Pulis reportedly believes his squad is too big still however and Fletcher may yet be allowed to leave Teesside to free up some room.
The former Manchester United youth has only started three games for Middlesbrough this season but has made 13 appearances from the bench since he signed from West Ham in the summer. Fletcher signed for Garry Monk for a fee of £6.5m in July, signing a four year contract.
If a deal for Fletcher fails to materialise, it may yet leave Sunderland scouring the free agent market to add a centre forward to the squad for the rest of the campaign.