International defender departs
Development squad defender Sam Brotherton has left Sunderland to join USL side North Carolina FC on a permanent deal.
The 22-year-old is a full New Zealand international but was never close to the first team at Sunderland since joining the club in January 2017.
He was loaned out to Blyth Spartans at the beginning of the season but struggled to make an impact due to injury.
North Carolina’s head coach Dave Sarachan was glad to add Brotherton to his squad ahead of the new season:
Sam is an experienced international center back and will be an important piece to our back line defending.
Sam is excellent in the air and comfortable in distribution. More importantly he has the ability to organize and lead a backline. I look forward to having Sam play an important role for us this season.
The signing is pending league and federation approval, and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa.
Celtic interest in Oviedo
There have been rumours that Bryan Oviedo may leave Sunderland before the transfer window closes should the club receive a suitable offer.
Keith Downie of Sky Sports - who appeared on the Roker Rapport podcast this week, which you can listen to HERE - said that the Costa Rican international was attracting interest from three overseas clubs and one in the Championship:
Bryan Oviedo is attracting interest from three overseas clubs plus one in The Championship #SAFC— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 28, 2019
According to a report in his homeland, the front-runners for Oviedo’s signature are actually Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.
The left-back is one of Sunderland’s highest earners but he has lost his place in the first team to Reece James and with Denver Hume recently returning to training, a departure seems likely.
Reported target signs new deal
Sunderland were reportedly interested in young Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season.
As well as Sunderland, Southampton and Swansea had registered their interest in the 19-year-old with fears at the Scottish club that he may sign a pre-contract agreement that would see him move on in the summer.
That will not happen now as Turnbull has signed a new deal that will see him remain at Fir Park until 2021 and Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson was delighted to see the midfielder turn down a move elsewhere to commit his future to the club:
We’re delighted David has agreed to extend his contract.
It’s to his credit that he has rejected the possibility of a more to a bigger or so-called more lucrative club in favour of continuing his development here, playing first team football.
He’s made a brilliant start to his Motherwell career, but he also knows that he can get even better if he continues to work hard and continues to learn.