Sunderland are likely to resist any Everton attempt to take Sunderland winger Adam Johnson on a season-long loan.
The Black Cats are looking to reduce their wage bill for next season, leaving top-earner Johnson vulnerable.
The Easington-born player was outstanding at times last term, but ineffective at others. So Sunderland would be prepared to listen to offers for Johnson, who joined from Manchester City for £10m.
Everton are reluctant to buy the 26-year-old but keen to increase the number of English players in their squad and made good use of the loan system last season, signing Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu.
Deulofeu has returned to Barcelona, leaving them in need of another winger.
However, it seems unlikely Sunderland would be willing to loan a prize asset out to a rival Premier League club, and at the very least they will surely bide their time in the hope that a buyer emerges.
Meanwhile, Swansea City manager Garry Monk is determined to see off Sunderland interest in Ashley Williams, and is confident the defender will sign a new contract with the Welsh side. “We are in negotiations with his representatives and trying to put a deal across so that Ash will be here for the future of the club,” said Monk. “I know Ashley wants that, I want that, and the club wants that, and that’s what we are working towards.”
The Black Cats are thought to have bid £4m for the 29-year-old.
Jozy Altidore has insisted his first goals since December 4 would have no effect on him at this summer’s World Cup.
The Sunderland striker scored twice in the USA’s 2-1 win over Nigeria in the final game of their “send-off series” before Brazil.
“To be honest, it makes no difference,” said the striker who lost his club place as a result of his poor form in front of goal, yet remains an important part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans.
“I’ve played for this team for such a long time now that I think it’s my responsibility to help the team in other ways: tracking back and being someone that younger guys can look up to.”
“I take that very seriously.”