Sunderland are in talks with Wigan free agent Jordi Gomez – after signing West Brom right-back Billy Jones to replace Phil Bardsley.
The Black Cats made their first signing of the summer yesterday, swooping for Albion’s out-of-contract utility man Jones on a four-year contract.
It was the first sign of Gustavo Poyet, who yesterday ended speculation over his own future by signing a new two-year contract, stamping his mark on the squad and he has recruited an attack-minded right-back to replace Bardsley.
Now the indications are that he wants to swoop for Gomez, who has raised interest from Everton and abroad.
The 28-year-old has been at Wigan for five years and the Latics have offered him a new deal but Sunderland are among a number of clubs who have contacted the player, sources close to Gomez have revealed.
Poyet ended speculation linking him with Southampton after Mauricio Pocchetino left to join Tottenham Hotspur by signing a contract which will keep him at the Stadium of Light until 2016, and last night confirmed he is relishing the next stage of his career at Sunderland.
“We achieved so much last season, working together – the club and the fans – and we took many good memories from the season,” said the Uruguayan.
“The prospect of creating more of those memories is one which excites me, and now I cannot wait for the next chapter in my career and the history of Sunderland AFC.”
He moved quickly to take Jones from the Hawthorns, where he has been since 2011 and signing for the club in the Roy Hodgson era. The player said he was sold on Sunderland’s ambitions.
“I’m signing for a massive club with everything in place to move up the league,” he told Sunderland’s official website.
“I feel that the age I am now it’s time to kick on now. I know I can play at this level and play consistently well at this level and I feel the next four years should be the best football I play in this league. That’s what I expect and I’m sure that’s what the gaffer expects as well.”
Jones, it would appear, has been recruited for his attacking ability.
“I’m proud to keep clean sheets but I feel that I’ve improved offensively and from speaking to the gaffer and the way he wants to play the game it should be a good match,” he said.
“I just hope to be solid, but from a personal point of view I hope to get some assists as well.”