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Supposed Sunderland loan target extends stay with current club; Woodburn deal edging closer?

Is Ben Woodburn about to be named as Sunderland’s first signing of the Chris Coleman era?

Liverpool v Sunderland: U18 Premier League Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Following on from yesterday’s pre-Middlesbrough press conference with Chris Coleman, in which the gaffer gave some further insight into how things should pan out for Sunderland as the January transfer window progresses, it would seem that the rumour mill surrounding who will be going in and out of the club is finally in full swing.

One piece of gossip which can be put to bed early doors is that of Newcastle United winger Alex Gilliead, who has opted to extend his stint with League One side Bradford City until the end of the current season.

The wide-man - who featured against Sunderland in pre-season for the Yorkshire side - was rumoured to be interesting Sunderland earlier in December, along with fellow Championship strugglers Hull City and mid-table Millwall.

The 21 year old’s existing deal with the Bantams expired at the start of the month, but rather than look elsewhere for a new club he has instead decided to stay with Stuart McCall’s men - a wise decision perhaps, as the youngster is a regular in the side at Valley Parade, seemingly enjoying his football with the club currently sat in 5th position in the League One table.

Bradford City v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly
Alex Gilliead in action for Bradford against Sunderland in pre-season.
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

It would appear, however, that the supposed loan move for Liverpool’s promising forward Ben Woodburn is as good as done.

Both the Daily Mail and the Daily Star have suggested that the Wales international - who made his international debut playing under now-Sunderland gaffer Chris Coleman - is nearing closer to agreeing to a short-term stint on Wearside.

Woodburn is thought of as one of the most exciting young players currently in the Liverpool system, and some first team football playing for a manager who knows him, at a big club and at a competitive level is said to have met the approval of Anfield chief Jurgen Klopp, who wants the 18-year old to go out and prove himself in the latter half of the season.

Chris Coleman’s squad is low on numbers following a fresh round of injuries to key players and it’s hoped that the deal to secure Woodburn will be completed in time for him to play on Saturday against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup tie at the Riverside.

Liverpool v Sunderland: Premier League 2
Ben Woodburn is impressing for Liverpool
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

And finally, another new name linked with a move to the club in the coming weeks is Bolton Wanderers midfielder Josh Vela, who according to the Daily Mail is interesting a number of potential suitors hoping to pick up a bargain on a relatively cheap deal.

Bolton, having suffered from financial issues in recent years, are unable to pay their players the premium that perhaps carrying the tag of a Championship club brings these days and it’s thought that a move away from the club that he been with since he was a boy is of preference to the former Notts County loanee.

Though with Chris Coleman today confirming that he’s unlikely to have any money at all to spend between now and the end of the month, we can probably file this one alongside the likes of Danny Ings, Jack Colback and Wayne Hennessey in the box marked ‘never likely to happen’.