DANNY Rose is Sunderland’s main target on transfer deadline day with the England U21 international on the verge of replacing Kieran Richardson as the Black Cats left-back.
But there is little prospect of Clint Dempsey joining Rose at the Stadium of Light, with Sunderland’s interest in the Fulham midfielder confined to an inquiry before the arrival of Adam Johnson.
Rose is set to complete a season-long loan from Spurs today after Sunderland couldn’t agree a fee with Ukrainian outfit Dnipro for Croatian international full-back Ivan Strinic.
Richardson’s imminent move to Fulham would leave Sunderland short of options at left-back, with midfielder Jack Colback deployed there in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup victory over Morecambe.
O’Neill has addressed that by moving for Team GB Olympic player Rose, with the 22-year-old set to become Sunderland’s fifth signing of the summer.
“Kieran is speaking to Fulham and that might well go through,” said O’Neill.
“That would obviously leave us with a position to fill at left-back.
“We did put in some offers for what I consider really decent players on the Continent, but we never got round to matching their valuations.
“If Kieran does go, we would be looking at someone (to replace him) and I am pretty confident that we would be able to resolve that.”
Richardson held successful talks with Fulham yesterday after Sunderland accepted a fee of around £2million earlier this week.
The 27-year-old, who was Sunderland’s longest-serving player, told O’Neill during the summer that he wanted to end his five-year stay at the Stadium of Light to move closer to his native London.
And with Fulham boss Martin Jol vowing to deploy Richardson in his favoured midfield role, the former Manchester United man’s time at Sunderland is set to reach a conclusion before tonight’s 11pm deadline.