Sunderland have had many problems at centre-back this season but according to the Sunday People, may try to rectify that problem position next season by making a move for Wigan Athletic’s Cedric Kipre.
The report claims Sunderland will only make a move for the Ivorian central defender if they are successful in achieving promotion through the play-offs.
Kipre is a commanding presence at the back for Wigan, standing at 6’3” but he missed the final three games of the club’s Championship season after a sending off against Leeds United.
Away from the first team and Sunderland’s academy is rumoured to be the target of another Premier League raid, as Manchester United are targeting the signing of 15-year-old left-back Logan Pye.
The Sun claim Pye may be able to be signed for £500,000 plus extras and would join a string of youngsters either leaving the Academy of Light or being linked with moves away.
A list that includes Sam Greenwood, Michael Woud, Morten Spencer and Luca Stephenson have all left the club, while Pye, Luke Hewitson, Harrison Jones and Adam Richardson have been linked with moves away.
Guard of honour for O’Shea
Former Sunderland captain John O’Shea announced his retirement last week and the 38-year-old made his final ever appearance yesterday during Reading’s final game of the season - a nil-nil home draw with Birmingham City.
O’Shea came on in the final minute and both sides honoured a player who made 256 appearances for Sunderland by giving the former Irish international a guard of honour.
His former Sunderland team-mates Craig Gardner and Ovie Ejaria were part of that guard of honour and Reading boss Jose Gomes says he has never seen anything like that before but said it was the players’ decision due to how much they respect O’Shea:
No, I’ve never seen anything like that before. For me, it meant a lot. The respect that was shown to John.
He is a very intelligent person. He’s quiet, he doesn’t speak too much. But when he talks, everybody listens.
All the players respect him a lot. He won everything - he had a fantastic career - and deserved it.
The guard of honour was the players’ idea. All of them respect John a lot.
Embleton wins Grimsby award - Collins released
Sunderland youngster Elliot Embleton has been honoured at Grimsby Town’s end of season awards after his FA Cup equaliser against MK Dons being named the club’s goal of the season - which you can see below.
Embleton had a successful loan at The Mariners this season before injury cut short his spell at Blundell Park.
Meanwhile, Danny Collins has been released by Grimsby after a three year spell at the club. The 38-year-old made 163 appearances for Sunderland before departing for Stoke City back in 2009.