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ROKER ROUNDUP: Wahbi Khazri discusses future as Sunderland academy star receives USMNT call-up

Gooch gets called up, Khazri discusses his future, we take a look at how the loanees got on and a Romanian international discusses his failed Sunderland move.

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Gooch receives call up

Despite missing the final few weeks of the Championship campaign due to injury, Lynden Gooch had a successful end to the season, with the youngster starring for the first team and making fans wonder why he hadn’t played more regularly up to that point.

His fine displays did not go unnoticed with a deserved call up to the United States senior team for their friendly games against Bolivia and France. The USMNT selected quite a young side as they look to rebuild following missing out on the forthcoming World Cup.

It’s such a young side in fact that the national team’s official twitter somehow missed Gooch’s name from the announcement, despite his call up being confirmed.


Loan roundup - Khazri discusses future

It was the last day of the Ligue 1 season in France on Saturday and both Wahbi Khazri and Papy Djilobodji were named in the squads for Rennes and Dijon’s games respectively.

Khazri, who had just returned after a few weeks out with injury, was an unused substitute as 5th placed Rennes drew 1-1 at home to Montpellier. After the match, Khazri discussed his future with beIN SPORTS and said that he has a few proposals to consider but for now will return to Sunderland:

I’m happy with my season in Rennes, I had a lot of fun. Stay in the event of an offer from Rennes? I will not say that I’ll stay. I am obliged to study other proposals but it is true that I’m not against staying in Rennes with the coach [Sabri Lamouchi] and this team, but I am open to everything. I have not received anything yet so I will be back with my club [Sunderland].

Djilobodji played the full game and helped his side to a 2-1 home victory against Angers. That result saw Dijon finish 11th in the Ligue 1 table, an improvement on last season’s 16th.

Finally, Fabio Borini was suspended for Milan’s final game of the season but the Rosseneri didn’t miss him as they thrashed Fiorentina 5-1 at the San Siro.

Livingston v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Romanian international on failed Sunderland move

In 2008 Roy Keane wanted to strengthen the defence in preparation for our first season back in the Premier League and one of his main targets was Romanian international defender Dorin Goian.

Goian, who played for Steaua București at the time, was all set to sign a four-year deal with Sunderland before the move broke down and according to the player himself, he has no idea why the move broke down:

I’m not the kind to listen to the rumors launched through the newspapers. There were articles written that I wanted top Premier League teams, but I can tell you that there were talks with Sunderland because the people were in Bucharest, I was called by Giovani Becali, my then-chairman who told me to prepare myself for two days to go to Sunderland. They understood the money, my salary, everything. I was going to sign for four years with Sunderland, but unfortunately things got stuck somewhere, at a VAT, at a higher commission, I have no way to know.

Well according to Becali the move did indeed break down due to VAT, with Sunderland pulling out of the move once they found out they had to pay the Romanian government £700,000 VAT, on top of the £3.5m transfer fee that they had agreed with Steaua.

After missing out on a move to the Stadium of Light, Goian stayed at Steaua for another season before moving to Serie A side Palermo, he later transferred to Rangers and after spells at Spezia and Asteras Tripoli he retired in 2016. He is now manager of third division Romanian side Bucovina Rădăuți.

Euro2008 Qualifier - Romania v Netherlands Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images