Reported target in no rush to leave
Sunderland have been linked with a move for Ayr United’s prolific marksman Lawrence Shankland but the striker is in no rush to leave.
Speaking to Clyde 1’s superscoreboard, the striker said he is putting interest to him to the back of his mind to concentrate on returning from injury:
To be honest I’m just putting it to the back of my mind. My main priority just now is getting fit and getting back playing.
Obviously it’s nice to have the speculation, people talking about you here and there, but it’s nothing that I get too caught up with. I just keep doing what I’m doing, working hard and the football will do the talking for me.
I’m quite laid back but obviously I know where I want to go in my career and the next step I want to take and go and improve myself and push on again.
It is something I will look at eventually when the time is right and I’ll deal with it then.
I signed at the start of the season with the full intention of being there for the full year and seeing it out.
The gaffer has obviously made that vocal to the public that he wants to keep everybody and I’m fine with that. I think the main thing is I’m happy and enjoying my football still and I’m still scoring goals thankfully enough.
The team’s doing well and we’re still at the top end of the league.
It’s not somewhere I’m looking to go and rush out of and I don’t really need to, as I said, if the move comes and the time’s right, then it will happen then.
Payne remains with Bradford
Jack Payne will remain on loan at Bradford City for the rest of the season despite apparent interest from Sunderland.
According to the Yorkshire Post, Payne was interesting Sunderland and a number of other clubs but Bradford offered to pay Huddersfield Town a bigger percentage of the midfielder’s wages from 50% to just under the full amount, an offer that the Terriers were happy to accept.
Payne was happy to remain at Bradford and now hopes to kick on:
We have really picked up in recent weeks and I am enjoying being a part of it, I am really enjoying my football and we are playing a style of football, pressing high and pushing forward, which suits me.
We just want to kick on now and keep getting the important results we need to move up the league table.
City unhappy with Checkatrade Trophy scheduling
Manchester City are reportedly furious with the EFL over the scheduling of our Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final against City.
The tie has been scheduled to take place next week but City are unhappy that it comes just 24 hours before their second leg against Burton Albion in the League Cup semi-final.
Pep Guardiola was said to be hoping to include members of his Elite Development Squad in the semi-final second leg after they won the first leg 9-0 but now believes the EFL have picked his team for him due to the scheduling of the Sunderland game.
In a statement, an EFL spokesman said:
The scheduling of Manchester City’s visit to Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy has been dated for Tuesday 22nd January. This decision was made after full consideration of the representations of both Clubs, along with enquiries of our own.
With no mutual agreement between the Clubs, the decision fell to the Executive of the EFL. There is a significant amount of sympathy with the position outlined by Manchester City and the fact that the dating of this game could remove one opportunity for the Clubs younger players to play in a first team competitive game with the Carabao Cup Semi-Final 2nd leg the day after.
The EFL is committed to delivering valuable playing opportunities for young players and would have assisted, if it had been practically possible but the alternative dates all had issues with them.
The EFL is grateful for the support of both Clubs towards the Checkatrade Trophy and Pep Guardiola’s backing of the Carabao Cup.
This is not the first time a Checkatrade Trophy tie has been played within 24 hours of a League Cup semi-final, as Peterborough United’s 3-1 win at Chelsea came the day after the Chelsea first team lost 1-0 at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur just last week. Chelsea did not kick up a fuss.
Mixed fortunes for former Sunderland loan duo
Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway both joined Sunderland on loan last season but both struggled to make a difference as the club were relegated to League One.
Both players have featured for Everton this season in the EFL Trophy and Premier League 2 but neither are close to Marco Silva’s first team and that has led to both looking to move on during this window and while Browning is close to a move, a hamstring injury looks likely to scupper Galloway’s hopes.
Browning is set to join a Chinese club in the near future according rumours - the defender would be eligible to represent China due to a grandparent - and Everton’s development squad manager David Unsworth confirmed that something could be announced in the near future:
I’m hopeful. Hopeful of Tyias, he might have something very soon to announce.
Certainly, hopefully, Tyias, in the next 24-48 hours we might have something to announce.
Galloway is expected to remain with Everton due to a serious hamstring injury, with Unsworth not wanting to rush him back too soon:
Brendan’s still a couple of weeks away from returning to training. It might be touch and go for Brendan in this window.
He might just have to finish the season with us because he’s had quite a serious hamstring injury.
It’s the sort of injury where you don’t want to rush him back too soon.