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Roker Roundup: Sunderland linked with move for young Manchester City midfielder; & Boyce update

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Manchester City youngster Matt Smith is the latest midfielder to be linked with a move to Sunderland; and Nigel Clough has commented on interest in Liam Boyce.

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Hearts intent on Boyce

Both Sunderland and Hearts are said to have had bids of £200,000 rejected for Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce.

The Northern Ireland striker has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season and has hit a rich vein of form lately, scoring five goals in his last six games and providing a further two assists.

Despite that, Burton may sell the forward this month due to the 28-year-old being out of contract at the end of the season, and manager Nigel Clough referenced the interest in Boyce yesterday:

There is still interest in Liam Boyce and we have had two bids which have been rejected.

Should Phil Parkinson remain keen on signing Boyce, he will have to compete against stepped up interest from Hearts, with the Edinburgh Evening News reporting that Daniel Stendel will accelerate their chase for the player after their initial bid was rejected.

Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Dave Howarth/PA Images via Getty Images

Young City midfielder linked

Phil Parkinson hopes to sign a midfielder this month, and has been strongly linked with moves for Greg Docherty of Rangers and Shrewsbury Town captain Ollie Norburn.

According to London Football News, Sunderland are also tracking young Manchester City midfielder Matt Smith.

The 20-year-old is already a full Welsh international with 7 caps to his name, but has struggled for playing time during his loan spell at Queens Park Rangers this season, playing only 195 minutes in the Championship.

That has led to suggestions that the reigning Premier League champions will recall him from his loan to find him somewhere he will feature more heavily in the second half of the season, and the report claims that Sunderland and Ipswich Town are considering a move for Smith.

Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Altidore on the move?

Jozy Altidore has been a big success at Toronto FC since he joined the club in a deal that saw Jermain Defoe head to the Stadium of Light.

His time in Canada may be coming to an end now however due to some outspoken remarks levelled at the club regarding their treatment of fellow United States international Michael Bradley.

The midfielder has been ruled out for four months after ankle surgery but the former Sunderland striker has made it clear who he thinks is to blame for Bradley’s misfortune:

This is a team with a lot of high level players. We’ve done a good job of making sure we always have depth. This will be another hurdle for us.

But make no mistake: in my opinion it was handled poorly.

This is an injury from two months ago. And it’s not the first time this has happened: we’ve seen our injury rate at this club since ‘18. And we’re obviously trying to get it better, but it hasn’t and two months have gone by and now he’s having surgery to be out to June.

I don’t know [if it was misdiagnosed], but, like I said, I don’t think it’s good enough, he’s a guy that takes care of himself in an incredible way, professionally pushes himself and the group, holds everybody to a high standard. I think he was let down.

Altidore is under contract with Toronto until 2022 but according to ESPN reporter Herc Gomez, the MLS club are now considering moving the player on due to his criticism of the handling of Bradley’s injury.

Sunderland v Udinese - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks - Sunderland AFC via Getty Images