Sunderland AFC preparing double transfer swoop

SUNDERLAND have made an approach to sign Manchester City striker John Guidetti on a season-long loan – and they plan to pair him with Steven Fletcher in a new-look Black Cats forward line.

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher

SUNDERLAND have made an approach to sign Manchester City striker John Guidetti on a season-long loan – and they plan to pair him with Steven Fletcher in a new-look Black Cats forward line.

Although frustration has been the theme of the summer so far at the Stadium of Light, the club have ambitious plans to improve the squad before next Monday’s transfer deadline and have spoken to a high-ranking official at City about the possibility of signing the highly-rated Sweden forward.

And Guidetti (left) is no back-up option for the Black Cats, with boss Martin O’Neill keen to make him one of two strikers they want to sign this summer to give his wide-men a target man to aim for.

Although Feyenoord have also made an approach to re-sign the forward who scored 20 goals in 23 appearances in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, The Journal understands that City would prefer him to join an English club.

And Guidetti is open to the idea of signing for Sunderland for the season.

Yesterday morning his agent Per Jonsson revealed that there is major interest in his client, insisting several English clubs and a slew of Continental sides had been in touch with City.

“There are 15 clubs who have enquired about the options for John,” he said. “Right now there are negotiations with City.

“It’s up to them, but I believe everything will work out in the end.”

The idea of a new-look Sunderland strikeforce will whet the appetite of supporters who have grown concerned at the slow pace of the club’s recruitment drive.

But Sunderland hope their painstaking efforts will bear fruit in the next seven days – with owner Ellis Short having sanctioned a new, improved offer for Fletcher that will be tabled in the next 48 hours.

Wolves last night re-affirmed their commitment to get the best price for their want-away stars, which in Fletcher’s case means a price of more than £13.5millon for the striker.

But their efforts to try and keep hold of the player appear to have failed, with the striker having re-stated his intention to leave.

The two clubs are playing a game of cat and mouse over Fletcher but there appears to be a recognition on both sides that the Scottish forward will be a Black Cats player by the time the current transfer window shuts at the beginning of next month.

The Journal can now reveal the full extent of Fletcher’s dissatisfaction at Wolves, where the player has repeatedly told his employers that he wants to leave to join Sunderland.

He was not involved in Wolves’ clash with Barnsley last night and such is his state of mind he is unlikely to be involved again at the weekend, despite making a full recovery from an ankle injury.

The Black Cats re-opened negotiations with Wolves on Friday regarding Fletcher but had not returned with a new offer as of last night – a situation that prompted Molineux chief executive to pen some bullish programme notes warning potential suitors that they will not be short-changed.

Sunderland are covering a number of bases in their recruitment drive, with Jermaine Jenas and Danny Rose of Tottenham also sounded out about possible moves to the North East.

They have also talked to Dnipro about Croatian full-back Ivan Strinic – along with Jonas Olsson of Blackburn. But the onus is on the club to close a deal now, with O’Neill having made it abundantly clear he expects progress before the transfer window slams shut on September 3.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer