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ROKER ROUNDUP: Young Sunderland target becomes available as Torino consider Ndong alternatives

In today’s news: a player that has been heavily linked with a move to Sunderland has became available, whilst Torino are looking at alternatives to Didier Ndong as Stewart Donald remains firm on the fee.

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Sunderland target becomes available

Highly rated Scunthorpe United midfielder Hakeeb Adelakun is set to leave the Irons after rejecting a lucrative new offer. The 21-year-old is out of contract this summer and will look for a new club, with Sunderland amongst the teams apparently interested in signing the former West Ham United youth player.

Despite being 21, the winger already has vast experience in the lower leagues. He became Scunthorpe’s youngest ever player when he made his debut as a 16-year-old in 2012 and has since racked up 160 appearances for the club.

Standing at 6’4” and with plenty pace to burn, you can see why he would be an attractive proposition for new Sunderland gaffer Jack Ross. According to recent reports in the media, if we are to sign him we’ll need to beat off competition from the likes of Hull City, Nottingham Forest and an unnamed Serie B side.

Torino explore options

With Sunderland refusing to let Didier Ndong leave for less than their valuation, which has been reported to be £10m, Torino are looking into potential alternatives should they be unable to come to an agreement with Stewart Donald.

The Serie A side have so far offered £6.1m for the Gabon international, with Cardiff bidding £7m. Neither amount has been enough to tempt Sunderland to sell, particularly with Ndong taking a huge wage cut which makes it easier to keep him in League One.

Although Ndong is their first choice, one such alternative that Torino are interested in is former Tottenham, QPR and West Brom midfielder Sandro, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Serie A side Benevento from Turkish side Antalyaspor.

Benevento Calcio v Genoa CFC - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Sunderland inspire Arsenal sponsorship

There has been some controversy in Rwanda of late due to the country’s tourism board spending £30m to secure sponsorship on Arsenal’s sleeves.

The country has defended itself against claims that the money would be better used elsewhere by pointing to the 50 per cent increase of visitors, from 600,000 to 1,2m, that Tanzania witnessed thanks to their sponsorship deal with Sunderland. Rwanda are hoping to double their tourism revenue to $800m thanks to their sponsorship of Arsenal.

Kwame Owino, the head of Rwanda’s Institute of Economic Affairs, said although the cost was significant, they hope the sponsorship will prove to be a productive one:

40 million dollars for Rwanda like any other African country is a significant sum but given the calculation they are making about what its yield would be for tourism, it’s something that can be measured. Three-year medium-term agreement is a good one because at the end of it they may have to evaluate how productive that has been whether it met its objectives.

Former President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete receives a Sunderland shirt from Margaret Byrne

Sunderland’s links with Tanzania are still ongoing, with the academy they help run along with Symbion Power and the NBA recently winning an under 14 tournament.

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