BLACKPOOL boss Ian Holloway expects winger Matt Phillips to remain at Bloomfield Road despite rumoured interest from Sunderland.
The Black Cats remain in the hunt for a new wideman and look like missing out on one of Martin O’Neill’s main summer targets, Junior Hoilett.
Out-of-contract Hoilett is thought to be considering the merits of QPR and German outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are both willing to match the 22-year-old’s wage demands of more than £50,000 a week.
Sunderland have baulked at those figures and are turning their attentions to other targets.
Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady, who played under O’Neill at Celtic, has been on the radar all summer while Phillips continues to be linked with a host of Premier League clubs, including Sunderland, Aston Villa, Everton and Wigan.
But Blackpool have laughed off suggestions of Phillips leaving and are under no pressure to sell the 21-year-old, who began his career with O’Neill’s former club Wycombe.
Holloway said: “Matty is a great lad and a great player. He and Tom Ince (fellow Blackpool winger) are the kind of exciting, young players people want to watch and I am delighted and proud to have them in my squad.
“They are going to be very big players for us next season and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
Hoilett’s former Blackburn team-mate Steven N’Zonzi is another who has been linked with Sunderland after being left out of the club’s pre-season training camp in Austria.
Sunderland are thought to have watched N’Zonzi along with Hoilett last season and are interested in the Frenchman, who would add height and power to the Black Cats midfield.
But there have been no bids for the 23-year-old and Blackburn’s ambitious price tag of £10million is likely to dissuade any top flight suitors.
Meanwhile, the saga over Marcos Angeleri return to Argentina continues, with the flop Sunderland right-back set to fly back to his homeland this week in an attempt to finally bring a resolution to his Stadium of Light exit.
Angeleri was back on Wearside last week as his former club Estudiantes and fellow Argentine outfit San Lorenzo fought it out for the 29-year-old’s signature.
But he now appears to have opted for Estudiantes, where he spent a month training during the summer, despite San Lorenzo making a last-ditch bid for the defender’s services.
Angeleri is expected in Argentina in the next 48 hours where he is set to finalise his move, with Sunderland happy to tear up the final year of the Argentina international’s contract after just three first-team appearances for the Black Cats.