Sunderland are ready to move for Stoke City midfielder Geoff Cameron – as AC Milan make a move for long-term target Fabio Borini.
The Black Cats, who travel to St Andrew’s to take on Birmingham City in the second round of the Capital One Cup tonight, are looking to make at least two more signings before Monday’s deadline.
A creative central midfield presence and a striker are top of their hit-list and Cameron, who is agitating for a move away from Stoke, is understood to be one of their prime targets.
Stoke want to keep Cameron but Sunderland are one of a number of Premier League clubs who have been alerted to his openness to a move away from the Potteries.
Hull City, Southampton and Lazio have also been linked with the USA international. The 29-year-old’s versatility makes him an asset, with Cameron having played both in the centre of midfield and defence for the US during their impressive World Cup campaign.
He has also filled in at right-back, although Sunderland are now well-stocked for full-backs with Billy Jones another who can switch from one side of the back four to another. Cameron also has Premier League experience, which has been a key component of all of Sunderland’s summer targets.
The Black Cats are prepared for a hectic final few days of the window, with Gustavo Poyet pressing his case for reinforcements and having identified several strikers who can fill the void left by Borini.
The striker is now wanted by Milan – who are in the market for a replacement for Liverpool-bound Mario Balotelli – but Sunderland have also tabled informal enquiries about Lille forward Salomon Kalou and Sebastian Coates of Liverpool.
The Cats’ start to the season has not obscured Poyet’s belief that he needs more cutting edge to add to a squad that has secured two decent points so far this term. Ideally he wants Borini to join but the Liverpool forward has not made it easy for Sunderland to do a deal that is clearly the one that Poyet believes would offer the most value to the team.
Sunderland have faced criticism for allowing the saga to drag on but Poyet illustrated signs of his patience wearing thin over the weekend when he was asked about the Italy striker.
“I think we’re getting close to a final decision either way, which is good because it’s been too long,” he said. “So it’s time now that a yes is coming or a no and we need to move on.” Milan’s declaration will have hardly helped Sunderland’s cause.
Sunderland are also close to brokering deals for unwanted trio Mo Diakite, Danny Graham and Cabral to finally leave the Stadium of Light.
All three have been made available and Poyet has claimed that Diakite has “ten options” available to him to leave. Graham is interesting Wolves while Cabral may move to the Championship in a bid to stay in English football.
“I think we’re getting close (to moving them on) because of the transfer window,” said Poyet, who admits they have been model professionals in the face of uncertainty. “I have to give them credit. We were very close to finding a solution for them (Diakite and Cabral) before we went to Portugal for pre-season – and Danny as well.
“That was why they didn’t travel. It was not like ‘off you go’. Then it didn’t happen and when we came back, it was daily. Last week, someone said Cabral was travelling to Russia and the next day he was here and the day after he was playing for the Under-21s.
“I’m surprised and thinking ‘what happened?’ so you can imagine what it’s like for them but if you train well with me and the quality of training is up there, I’ve got no problem.”