Sunderland have been offered former target Cheikh M'Bengue as they continue to hunt for full-back solutions.
The Senegal international was on the radar of former boss Martin O’Neill as he hunted for a left-back last season, but the club decided against a move for the Toulouse defender. But Sunderland are continuing to actively target full-backs amid renewed speculation in Italy about a fresh move for Velez Sarsfield right-back Gino Peruzzi.
Now the Black Cats have been approached again via an intermediary about the combative, attacking left-back M’Bengue – who also interested Newcastle United before they moved for Davide Santon.
M’Bengue has been tracked by Bordeaux, Galatasaray and Lyon this summer, but the player would like to move to England, and is interested in a switch to the Black Cats.
Whether Sunderland’s director of football Roberto Di Fanti will be prepared to countenance a move for a player offered to the club rather than sourced by chief scout Valentino Angeloni is unclear – but nearly all of the incomings have carried the personal recommendation of Di Fanti and Angeloni so far. The revival of
the link with Peruzzi is interesting, with sources in Italy suggesting that there have been reassurances on the injury that has so far prevented the Black Cats from completing the deal.
Sunderland will hope to make a breakthrough soon. Paolo Di Canio will lead his team out for their third and final pre-season friendly in Denmark tonight expecting to start the season with Jack Colback and Craig Gardner filling the full-back positions.
The club have already seen moves for Bernard Mendy and Peruzzi stall, although Velez Sarsfield continue to talk up a move for the latter.
After the swift progress of the early months of the summer, Sunderland are finding it tougher to recruit the creative midfielder and full-backs that Di Canio wants to complete his squad.
The Black Cats boss wants a playmaker and two full-backs before the start of the season but has been impressed by the work of Gardner and Colback during the summer.
Despite turning down his first contract offer, Di Canio is desperate to retain the services of Colback, and there has been a new offer to the home-grown defender recently.
Meanwhile, Sunderland are set to name a strong side for the trip to Herning to play FC Midtjylland – with Jozy Altidore (pictured below) once again leading the line.
Steven Fletcher continues to rehabilitate, with a return mooted for September, and the USA international can’t wait to play alongside the former Wolves man.
He said: “I remember him when I was at Hull and he was at Burnley. He’s always been a fantastic player and the players I’ve been around that know him have always said positive things about him.
“I think we have a lot of good strikers. Connor is young but he’s very good. Ji (Dong-Won) is tricky, a very good striker and Fletcher, I’ve watched him a lot.
“He’s a great striker and works hard but he also has good ability and he could easily play for a bigger club, and this is a big club, but why not? He has all the ability and it will be exciting to have him back.”