We took a day off yesterday, so here are the SAFC transfer updates from yesterday and today!
The Chronicle, amongst others, report extremely encouraging news regarding Connor Wickham and our eagerness to offer the spearhead of our miraculous survival a new contract. It obviously isn’t a surprise that we are interested in doing so and Gus Poyet is quoted heaping praise on the England Under-21 international;
“A player with Connor’s physique and ability can go as far as he wants. The chances football gives you, you have to take, and he has done that.
“He came in at an important time, got a run of games and really helped turn our season around. He deserves all the credit, and will be an important player for us next season.”
Wickham’s words since the season’s curtains were drawn have all been positive and focused on next season with Sunderland, rather than the cryptic ‘anything can happen in football’ tripe that most players spurt out at this time of year. He is obviously in quite a nice position to command a big pay rise with his contract set to end in 12 months – though he wouldn’t leave for nothing next year as he isn’t old enough to be a bosman transfer. Offer him whatever he wants in my opinion, this would arguably be our biggest coup this summer.
It’s also encouraging that there have been no real rumours surrounding any potential move away from Wearside, though admittedly the silly season is very young. All in all we should be confident in our chances of wrapping Wickham up with a new contract, though there will always be concerns until it’s done and dusted.
There have finally been some pretty widespread rumours about Sunderland incomings that you sense have some credibility behind them. Julian Speroni, released by Crystal Palace, is thought to be high on Poyet’s list of goalkeepers to replace the departing Oscar Ustari.
The departure of Ustari wasn’t instigated by the club, but the player himself who is keen on first team football – which we are unable to offer because of Vito Mannone’s sublime campaign last season.
Speroni would be a free transfer, but at 35 only offers temporary back up for Mannone. I feel it would be an excellent move, given his experience, you would feel safe having to call on the Argentine stopper should he be required.
The Mirror (don’t laugh) reported last night that Sunderland are leading the race for former Chelsea and Wolves player Michael Mancienne as the player is in high demand to end is three year sabbatical from English football. The same article reports Stoke, Swansea, QPR and Fulham are all interested – the rumour has also been picked up by other media outlets today.
Mancienne’s time at Hamburg has been quite mixed and looks to come to an end on the back of a very disappointing season for the club, just staying up in the Bundesliga through the relegation play-off system. Just the other day Tom wrote a piece suggesting Mancienne as a decent target – he would be cost effective too being in the last 12 months of his contract. Personally, I’m in two minds about it, let me know what you think – leave us a comment below!