SUNDERLAND have asked Manchester City to name their price on England winger Shaun-Wright Phillips.
Steve Bruce has made an enquiry about the England international and is now weighing up whether it is worth his while to bring in the Manchester City flier, who would add elusive width and pace to his Black Cats mix. The Journal understands other players are in the frame as Bruce looks to recruit another wide man and he would ideally like to bring in someone who is naturally left-footed.
However, Wright-Phillips is a definite target, as his agent Wayne Lindsay confirmed.
He said: “There has been an enquiry from Sunderland about Shaun.
“There is no secret that Manchester City are prepared to let him go if an offer came in and it was the right offer so I would guess it is now up to Sunderland whether to follow up that initial interest.”
It is understood the Black Cats would prefer a loan move but they are considering making a permanent bid too – if the price is not too prohibitive.
There may also be an issue with the England winger’s wage demands, which may be above the ceiling Sunderland have imposed.
They would not, for example, stretch to the £60,000-a-week that Charles N’Zogbia managed to secure for switching to Aston Villa.
Lindsay believes a permanent move is more likely for his client this close season.
He added: “Manchester City would prefer him to move out permanently.
“I cannot speak for Shaun and say he would be interested in a move or that he would not be interested.
“If Sunderland meet the asking price, then it will be entirely down to him.”
Assistant manager Eric Black confirmed after the Darlington friendly Sunderland would be looking to add more players now they had the expensive Steed Malbranque off the wage bill.
The winger completed his move to Saint-Etienne on Wednesday night, with the French side taking over his contract but not paying to take him to the Ligue 1.
Malbranque was one of the club’s biggest earners – taking home around £50,000 a week – but he was on the last year of his deal and if the Black Cats could find a taker they were always likely to sell.
Just last month Malbranque had told The Journal he did not want to leave, but the reality of the situation was he was never going to be a first- team player and a new contract was never going to be forthcoming.
Confirming finances would be available to make further signings, the Sunderland assistant boss also hinted that George McCartney and Marcos Angeleri were set for exits.
Black added: “You are always on the look-out for players.
“It has already been widely publicised we have reached the stage where we need to sell before we buy.
“With Steed Malbranque’s move to Saint-Etienne finalised and George McCartney and Marcos Angeleri also possibly on their way, that will free up a lot of wages potentially.
“The manager has always said if he gets money made available to him he will look to strengthen.
“We have to wait and see what develops in terms of players going out and what that means in terms of players we can bring in.”