Harrogate hoping for Diamond return
Sunderland forward Jack Diamond had a highly successful loan spell at Harrogate Town last season, as they were promoted to League Two through the play-offs, with Diamond scoring in the play-off final at Wembley.
Such was his success that Harrogate manager Simon Weaver is hoping that the 20-year-old can return to add to his options ahead of the club’s debut in the Football League, telling the Harrogate Advertiser:
We need at least a couple of defenders. I’d also like another winger in to add more goals from another area of the pitch. If we can get Jack Diamond back as well, then that’s great, but we have to have competition for places.
Although Weaver is keen for Diamond to return and believes that he will should the player not be involved in the Sunderland first team, those hopes depend on Diamond’s performances in Sunderland’s pre-season:
We’d dearly love to have Jack Diamond in our squad, but Sunderland just want a look at him in their pre-season schedule.
If he’s not playing games for Sunderland or really in the match-day squad and pushing, I think there’ll only be one place where he’ll go out on loan, which is Harrogate Town. That’s the best we can hope for at the minute.
I think they have enjoyed him coming out on loan to us because he’s enjoyed his football and it has accelerated his progress and development, so we’re well-placed to get Jack back but his performances have made their manager sit up and take notice as well.
Goalkeeper set to sign?
Sunderland look set to sign former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Remi Matthews according to the East Anglian Daily Times.
The EADT say that both Ipswich Town and Sunderland were interested in goalkeeping duo Matthews and David Cornell, formerly of Northampton Town, but with Ipswich in advanced talks to sign Cornell, that should see Matthews reunite with his former Bolton boss Phil Parkinson at the Stadium of Light.
Matthews left Bolton in June after his contract expired and had been training with Ipswich Town during the early weeks of pre-season.
Graham move off?
Phil Parkinson admitted on the SAFC Unfiltered podcast earlier in the week that Sunderland had likely missed out on two players they had lined up before the League One salary cap was voted into existence on Friday:
We tried to get a couple of players in before Friday, but those deals didn’t go over the line, it was really the agents and the players’ decision on those ones. When you’re going for players that maybe have Championship interest as well, it can be difficult because you’re competing for those players.
We’ve had to change tack a little bit over the last couple of days, and reassess what we’re going to do. I’m still confident we’ll have a strong squad, but one or two players who maybe we thought we could have got last week are not in the market place for us now.
One of those players seems to be former Sunderland forward Danny Graham according to journalist Alan Nixon. Graham is a free agent after leaving Blackburn Rovers but now looks likely to move elsewhere with the salary cap forcing Sunderland to change tack in the transfer window.