Sunderland are in talks over a deal for former Crewe striker Max Clayton.
The England youth international is out of contract at Gresty Road and spent three weeks on trial with the Wearsiders, playing in the Black Cats’ pre-season friendlies against Darlington 1883 and Hartlepool United.
He did not travel to Portugal for Sunderland’s friendlies on the Algarve but negotiations are continuing in England as the clubs discuss compensation for the 19-year-old, who cannot move for nothing because he is under 24.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet said: “He did well and we are talking to him and his agent.
“I like to put everything on the table – for any player.
“The qualities we are looking for, the money – there are so many things which need to come together. He looked good in his time with us, and of course he is still learning.
“He has been playing another style of football at Crewe when he had the freedom to stay up the pitch, but when he was with us he was playing wide on the left and he has to learn the responsibilities to track back.
“He is young, and I am sure he can do that.” Crewe boss Steve Davis says negotiations over compensation are being handled by chairman John Bowler and finance operations manager Andy Blakemore.
He said: “The Max one is very difficult for me to talk about at the moment as I’m not too sure of the situation, that’s been left in the hands of John and Andy.
“As far as I know they are still negotiating with Sunderland so that’s as much as I can say at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland Slook set to miss out on Atletico Madrid midfielder Cristian Rodriguez.
The Black Cats have been tracking the Uruguay international, with Poyet admitting last week he would love to bring the 28-year-old to Wearside -but sources in Spain say Rodriguez will almost certainly move elsewhere if he leaves Madrid – and as a result Sunderland have dropped their interest and moved on.
Poyet is still keen to bring in another midfielder, however, after losing Craig Gardner, Jack Colback and Ki Sung-Yueng over the summe. Sunderland have already had one bid knocked back for Cardiff’s Jordon Mutch, while the Black Cats have shown interest in Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell.