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ROKER ROUNDUP: Could Sunderland’s record signing be set for a permanent move to Italy after all?

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Reports in Italy suggest that Didier Ndong’s move to Torino could be back on.

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Ndong to Torino still possible

Didier Ndong’s proposed move to Serie A side Torino broke down recently, despite the Turin-based club agreeing a fee of around £6.6m for the Gabon international midfielder. According to reports, an agent asking for a hefty fee caused Torino to walk away from the potential deal.

However, new reports from Tuttosport in Italy suggest that the deal may still happen, with Torino still keen to buy the player who spent the second half of last season on loan at Watford.

The report claims that once Ndong returns to Sunderland for pre-season training - which should take place later today - the player and his representatives will meet with the staff of Sunderland to try and facilitate a transfer.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Sunderland player donates to former club

Most talk about Sunderland players recently has been negative, with a number of players looking to leave the club after our relegation to League One, so it makes a change to be able to report on a player who turned up early for training as well as donating to his former club as a thank you for giving him the opportunity.

Development squad player Connor Shields has given Albion Rovers a donation which will go towards the club itself, as well as it’s youth system, and the striker say the payment is for helping him get to where he is today:

It’s a donation for the club and the youth system. Last year they were really struggling to keep the 20s going.

I was at Albion Rovers’ boys club the first year they did the 20s and that’s when I got my chance, under Darren Young. When Brian Kerr became manager I had a shot at the first team and it paid off.

I’ll forever be grateful to them for getting my chance.

As well as a donation to his former side, Shields revealed that he turned up early for pre-season training at the Academy of Light in the hopes of getting some advice from new manager Jack Ross as to what he needs to work on, so he can get started early:

The move has been brilliant. The first couple of months were about settling in and getting used to training every day with the higher demands.

It’s been a good challenge, but I played every 23s game after joining. Hopefully I can have a good pre-season and do well enough to get noticed by the first team.

I never met Jack in Scotland. We’re due back in on June 25, but I’ve come down early and I’ll see if I can introduce myself, see what he expects, then go away and work at it.

Jack did a brilliant job at St Mirren, so hopefully he can do the same thing at Sunderland. They’re a massive club. If he can get us playing the same kind of football St Mirren played he’ll get us back to the Championship and, hopefully, the Premier League.

He gave young players a chance at St Mirren so hopefully he does the same.

Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Former target on the move

Back in 2016 Sunderland had agreed a fee of £4.5m with Internazionale for their Italian international full-back Davide Santon, only for the former Newcastle United player to fail a medical.

As well as Sunderland, Santon failed medicals with both West Ham United and Napoli during the same transfer window and has since been a bit part player at the San Siro, but his injury problems may well be over with the player not only passing a medical but actually completing a move to AS Roma yesterday.