Sunderland alerted to availability of Valencia striker Jonas

Valencia's  Jonas Gonzalves
Valencia's Jonas Gonzalves

SUNDERLAND have been alerted to the availability of Brazilian striker Jonas after he negotiated a release from his contract with Valencia this week.

The 30-year-old, eight times capped by Brazil, is believed to favour a move to the Premier League with Sunderland and Spurs among those most strongly linked.

But the forward’s former club, Brazilian outfit Gremio FC for whom he scored 40 goals in 74 appearances are also reported to be interested.

Jonas, full name Jonas Goncalves Oliveira, has been at the La Liga side since 2011 and in each of the last three seasons has a return better than a goal every other game

He scored 10 goals last season but 19 goals in each of his two seasons before that, and after Sunderland’s failure to land a forward in the summer transfer window would significantly strengthen the Black Cats’ options up front

Sunderland are believed to have been contacted by the striker’s agent Tiago Goncalves who says the player’s “future will become clearer in the coming days”.

But so far the Black Cats are not believed to have pressed home a firm interest in the free agent.

While at Valencia, as well as regularly finding the back of the net, Jonas added the second fastest goal in Champions League history to his CV, (10.5 seconds, v Bayer Leverkusen in 2011) and also notched an eight minute hat-trick (v Osasuna in 2013).

The Brazilian undoubtedly has an impressive pedigree but one of the criticisms the 6ft tall forward faced before he left South America for Europe is that he was not physically strong enough.

And it maybe that Poyet still has the memory of January transfer window signing Ignacio Scocco - who failed to impose himself in a Sunderland shirt - fresh in his mind.

Scocco joined Sunderland in a £3m deal, arriving at the Stadium of Light with a similarly excellent reputation for exciting attacking play and an eye for goal.

But he flopped badly for the Black Cats in the handful of appearances he made, never settled, and was sold to Newell’s Old Boys in July with Sunderland taking a big cut on their initial outlay.

Against that, Jonas has had a successful spell at Valencia and shown he can deliver in one of the toughest leagues in Europe.

But Poyet will need to be convinced the Brazilian has what it takes to perform in the Premier League before proceeding further.