Sunderland set for busy deadline day as Bridcutt expected to sign deal

Sunderland expect to complete the signing of Liam Bridcutt today, while a host of others could leave on loan

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Liam Bridcutt of Brighton
Liam Bridcutt of Brighton

Sunderland are set for a busy final day of transfer business - with most of the movement out of the club today.

The Black Cats last night completed the signing of Argentine forward Ignacio Scocco, but their month-long pursuit of Liam Bridcutt will not be completed until today.

A number of players could leave on loan to offset the business Gustavo Poyet has done since taking control of transfers.

Alfred N’Diaye has joined Real Betis on loan until the end of the season after the team which had been borrowing him, Turkish club Eskisehirspor, were apparently unable to afford him.

Surplus to requirements after the arrival of central defender Santiago Vergini, Modibo Diakite is expected to complete a move to Fiorentina today.

Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough are reportedly in talks to sign Danny Graham, on loan at Hull City but pushed down the pecking order by the arrival of Nikita Jelavic and Shane Long.

Boro, who tried to sign Graham before he joined Sunderland last January are favourites to get the Chester-le-Street-born striker and, if so, Forest may move for Connor Wickham, recalled from a productive loan at Sheffield Wednesday.

Hibernian are close to signing 19-year-old Duncan Watmore on loan, while Bridcutt’s arrival could persuade Stoke City to follow up their interest in Lee Cattermole with a firm bid.

Fulham are also interested in signing long-term target Phil Bardsley before the full-back enters into talks over extending a contract due to expire in the summer. With Sunderland keen to cut their cloth accordingly with relegation still a threat, they could also be open to late offers for the likes of Steven Fletcher, Craig Gardner and David Vaughan.

Bridcutt had been targeted to play the holding midfield role Cattermole has filled since Poyet’s arrival and it looks like the move will finally go ahead today.

Sunderland had a bid for the Scotland international rejected by Poyet’s old club Brighton and Hove Albion and Bridcutt has not played since having a transfer request rejected in the first week of the year.

However, the Seagulls have relented, accepting the Black Cats’ £2.5m offer yesterday. Bridcutt will have a medical today.

On Wednesday night Stoke manager Mark Hughes denied having made a bid for Cattermole, who was conveniently rested against the Potters with a minor calf injury.

However, he admitted in the aftermath of Sunderland’s League Cup semi-final win over Manchester United he had been interested in the former Middlesbrough captain.

Cattermole did little to dissuade them at the weekend, saying only he was under contract at Sunderland and it would be up to them to determine his future.

Scocco signed a two-and-a-half-year contract yesterday and, although the fee was undisclosed, it is thought to be around £3m.

He was Poyet’s fourth signing, all Spanish speakers, after Vergini, goalkeeper Oscar Ustari and Marcos Alonso.

Although Scocco can also play wide or as a “No.10”, Internacional have been using him as the focal point of their attack but his summer move has not been a success with only three goals.

The 28-year-old said: “I am grateful to Inter who understood this was the best for all.

“I’m looking for a home now. I have spoken to my fellow Argentine team-mates and I’m looking forward to getting things going.

“Everybody here at Sunderland has welcomed me very nicely.”

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