Updates on Bristol City pair
Sunderland have been strongly linked with Bristol City pair Antoine Semenyo and Bailey Wright in recent weeks as Phil Parkinson looks to add to his forward and central defence options.
Bristol Post reporter Gregor MacGregor hosted a Q&A with fans on the BristolLive website to discuss all things Robins and, during the sessions, he was asked for updates on the duo.
Regarding the 19-year-old forward Semenyo, McGregor revealed that it is a two-horse race to sign him, with Sunderland having a better financial package that appeals to Bristol City but the player himself favouring Doncaster Rovers as they will likely offer a better guarantee of playing time:
This is a straight two-horse race. Sunderland want him and are willing to make more of a contribution to paying his wages. And I understand the club are hoping to send him to join up with Phil Parkinson.
However, the player and his camp prefer to go to Doncaster Rovers where the team set-up will help Semenyo more and he’ll likely get more first team chances.
I understand that Darren Moore has even made a presentation to Semenyo to convince him to head to Yorkshire instead.
So: this one’s in the balance. Have to wait and see which way it falls.
Semenyo is not the only striker Doncaster are chasing, as they are in talks with Shrewsbury Town over Fejiri Okenabirhie.
Sunderland had a bid rejected for the player on transfer deadline day last January but this season Okenabirhie has struggled for form and has found himself out of the side in recent weeks.
With the player out of contract in the summer, Town are looking to sell the player to avoid losing him on a free in the summer and that could see the 23-year-old head to the Keepmoat Stadium.
As for Bailey Wright, no suitable offers have arisen for the player so far:
Nothing doing currently. Lee Johnson explained on Saturday that no offers have satisfied either Bailey or the club. One to keep an eye on later this month.
But with Tomas Kalas out with a short-term injury, McGregor believes Wright may have to stay put until he recovers:
Good shout that, Robins. Two weeks for Kalas to return. Keep an eye out then.
Morgan agrees MLS deal
Former Sunderland loanee Lewis Morgan is set to end his spell at Scottish Champions Celtic by signing for MLS newcomers Inter Miami.
David Beckham’s side had a £400,000 bid accepted for the winger and Morgan has now agreed a three-year deal according to the Daily Record.
The Scottish international played 22 times for Sunderland last season and featured in both Wembley appearances but will now head to the MLS once his work permit application goes through.
McAuley cautious on Lafferty
Whilst one former team-mate of Kyle Lafferty’s, Stephen Craigan, believes he and Sunderland could be a match made in heaven another thinks it could end up in a car crash.
Gareth McAuley spoke to the Belfast Telegraph this week about the Northern Ireland international’s move to the Stadium of Light and explains his worries over a potential clash between the striker and Phil Parkinson.
The former West Bromwich Albion and Rangers defender believes that Lafferty’s laid back approach may not sit well with an ‘old school’ manager like Parkinson:
I fear Kyle Lafferty’s move to Sunderland will be a car crash.
A disaster waiting to happen.
As a former team-mate of Kyle’s and a Northern Ireland fan, I want to see Kyle playing regularly and if Phil Parkinson wasn’t the Sunderland manager, then the Black Cats would tick all the boxes for him.
But I struggle to see how ‘old school’ Phil will tolerate Kyle’s behaviour.
They will be chalk and cheese.
Kyle has never been the best trainer, he likes his practical jokes, sometimes goes quiet in games, doesn’t always stick to the schedule and discipline is an issue.
What Kyle needs is a manager who will accept and indulge his moments of madness, who will put an arm round him, fill him full of confidence and give him the benefit of the doubt when Kyle fails to deliver in games.
Phil is the complete opposite, he is a hard task master, who is old fashioned in his methods, there is no room for joking about and I suppose he is someone who uses the stick, rather than the carrot.
There will be a huge clash of personalities. Remember when Kyle was frozen out by Alex Neil at Norwich? It could be a similar state of affairs.
However, I’m not sure Kyle had too many other options since returning from his foray in Norway. I just feel Phil will hate the way Kyle gets on. It will grate on him and obviously that is bad news for Kyle.
Josh Magennis played under Phil and while Josh likes a laugh, when it comes to the training pitch and an actual game, he is deadly serious. He tries his best all of the time. Josh and Kyle are two completely different characters.
Kyle is at his best when he is loved, cherished, supported and a manager looks the other way at all his craziness and messing about.
But the position Sunderland find themselves currently in League One means the club can only take a serious approach to the rest of the season.
Also, I get the impression there are a few players at Sunderland who like the notion of being professional footballers but don’t really want to put in the extra hard yards that are needed.
Kyle will need to put the head down, try and get the fans onside from the first game and there must be no let up in his desire to be the best he can be at the Stadium of Light.
At 32, can he really do that now?