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ROKER ROUNDUP: German club reportedly focusing attention on signing Sunderland’s Papy Djilobodji

Having ended their interest in Norwich’s Timm Klose, reports in Germany suggest that Hannover 96 are now fully focused on signing the more affordable Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji.

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Hannover to push for Papy

Hannover 96 are keen to sign another central defender before the German transfer window closes on Friday and, according to Bild, they will make a push to sign Papy Djilobodji on a permanent deal.

According to the report, the €4m Norwich City are asking for Timm Klose is too much, so the German club’s manager Horst Heldt will focus his efforts on getting a deal for Djilobodji over the line, with Sunderland’s reported asking price of €1.5m more to Hannover’s liking.

Should the move not go through, Hannover will move on to 31-year-old German international Serdar Tasci who is currently a free agent after leaving Spartak Moscow.

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

International news

Sunderland’s game with Fleetwood Town will go ahead after Adam Matthews was left out of the Wales squad to play the Republic of Ireland and Denmark in the forthcoming international break.

Matthews omission means only Bryan Oviedo has been called up for his country so far and with Lynden Gooch the only other prospective call up, that means Sunderland won’t reach the three required call ups which would give Jack Ross a decision to make.

Aiden McGeady wasn’t considered for the Ireland squad but Martin O’Neill insists that does not mean the winger’s international career is over:

Aiden hasn’t played or even trained with the team long enough and you know what Aiden is like - he needs to get fit.

But I would certainly not rule that out.

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland - International Friendly Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Swedes on Sunderland

Seb Larsson returned to his native Sweden this summer after leaving Hull City when he signed for AIK but he has been looking back on his long career in England in an interview with iNews and says he was hurt when we were relegated to League One last season:

I was hurt when they went down [to League One last season]. It’s a place where I spent six years – we obviously had our ups and downs but it’s a wonderful club, with super fans, and they deserve better than that.

I’d be thrilled if Sunderland got back to the Championship, the potential is there, but we have said this before about the clubs in the north-east and for some reason they don’t manage to fulfil it. But with new owners coming in and a new lease of life at the club, hopefully they can be back in the Championship and then the Premier League before long.

The 33-year-old, who made 203 appearances for Sunderland in all competitions, was asked what his career highs on these shores were and mentioned our defeat to Manchester City in the 2014 League Cup final:

There’s a few obvious ones, making my debut for Arsenal at 19 in the League Cup against Manchester City. Making my Premier League debut, which I was lucky enough to do for Arsenal as well. Then obviously there’s winning my one and only title in England with Birmingham when we beat Arsenal in the League Cup final. With Sunderland, the League Cup final against Manchester City as well – those are the things that come to mind first.

Another Swede to recently leave Sunderland, Joel Asoro, has been talking about how his move to Swansea City came about with Dagens Nyheter:

I thrived in Sunderland, but when they went down [to League One] I felt it wasn’t for me [to stay].

There had been little contact with Swansea before. But when he [Graham Potter] came in and I’d heard of him, I knew of course who he was and felt that it could be good to start working with him.

I’ve seen what he has done, been in Sweden, taken a club from the fourth division to the Allsvenskan.

Fulham v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Former midfielder attacked

The last time Sunderland were in the third tier, Gary Owers was a regular in midfield as we went straight back up at the first attempt.

Owers is now the manager of Torquay United in the National League South and he has been in the news this week after he had hot coffee thrown in his face in the aftermath of a 0-0 draw with Gloucester City.

The match had already been held up by flares being thrown onto the pitch by Torquay fans and speaking after the game, Owers condemned the incident:

I am proud of my football background, what I’ve done in this game and where I’ve been, and I am also proud to be manager of this football club.

But I will be 50 in a couple of weeks, and you don’t expect to be walking off a football pitch and have a cup of red-hot coffee thrown in your face.

It shouldn’t happen whatever the circumstances are, and it’s got no place in the game.

Torquay are currently 13th in the National League South, one position and one point behind Gloucester.

We had an interesting interview with Owers back in March where he discussed his time at Sunderland, what it takes to get out of League One and much more. You can read part one of that interview HERE and part two HERE.

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