Sunderland Have Bids In, But Not For Manchester United Star or £20m International

David Moyes' first press conference as Sunderland manager took place this morning. Whilst his words may have provided some encouragement, progress in the transfer market appears to be some days away, if not longer.

by Brandon_Rawlin Monday, 01 August 2016 05:41 PM Comments
David Moyes' first press conference as Sunderland manager took place this morning. Whilst his words may have provided some encouragement, progress in the transfer market appears to be some days away, if not longer. 
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Almost since he first arrived on Wearside, Moyes has been repeatedly linked with a return to Manchester United for two players he previously worked with - Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj. 

Whilst Moyes did not openly admit or deny his interest in signing Fellaini, it was quite clear from what he did, or perhaps did not, say about the 6ft 4in Belgian midfielder. A logical conclusion is that Sunderland are unlikely to pursue any interest they may have been credited with:

"I'd love to have that level of player...Realistically, that's probably not going to happen"

Moyes suggested that the door would be "wide open" for someone of Fellaini's quality, but that the club would have to make significant progress before a certain calibre of player would risk their career signing for Sunderland, a club who have dangerously toyed with relegation in each of the past three seasons and flirted with it, on and off, for five years. 

And, he's right of course. Moyes' first proper outing in front of the cameras on Wearside was a candid, pragmatic affair. Clearly recognising the scale of the task ahead, Moyes appears to have quickly grasped the fact that Sunderland retain an image problem when it comes to competing with stable, solid mid-table sides for the signature of proven Premier League players. 

Indeed with a growing sense of unease amongst Sunderland supporters at the summer-horribilis unfolding before them, Moyes appears to have been eager to restore a sense of calm, tempered with a heavy dose of realism in reassuring fans that the club is active in the transfer market, but that deals will be slow to progress and perhaps not the marquee signings they might be hoping for. 

One rumour which can be dashed, and filed firmly in the 'agent tittle-tattle' pile, is that of Sunderland's supposed interest in Benfica star Eduardo Salvio. The rumour originated from Portugese outlet Record who published two articles late last week claiming that the president of the Portugese title winners, Luís Filipe Vieira, was in London to discuss player sales with Wolves and Sunderland. 

Sunderland were reportedly interested in securing the services of Salvio in a big money £20m deal. 

The product of Benfica's academy, he was hot property at the end of the 2014/15 season with a big money deal to England provisionally confirmed, most likely to Manchester City. A nasty knee injury in Benfica's last game of that season though, swiftly ended all of that. 

The articles were picked up by the usual array of twitter gossips and by Saturday had almost become established fact. However, sources confirm that Sunderland have no interest in the player and no such discussions have taken place and earlier today the player took to social media to brush off the rumours with "Give me laugh to read so much about my future. Good day". 

For one thing, it feels like an opportunity missed as Salvio would have been a potentially excellent signing and provided Sunderland with an option largely missing from the current squad - a right winger. 

For another, this is probably proof that Sunderland, in the newly emerging Moyes-era, are entering a wave of Iberian based pot shots for the gossip mongers and twitter-tattlers out there. It's certainly notable, that so far, the only players who seem to be linked with signing for David Moyes are Manchester United players or those based in Spain or Portugal. 

Regardless, the conclusion to draw from today is that Sunderland seem to be nearer, with two firm bids in, but not yet close to unveiling, some much needed reinforcements. 
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