Sunderland and Sampdoria still linked with Livorno striker Paulinho

NO GOALS: Connor Wickham
NO GOALS: Connor Wickham

SUNDERLAND have not followed up their initial inquiry in Livorno striker Paulinho, according to reports in Italy.

Paulinho was linked with a move to the Stadium of Light earlier this month after the Brazilian’s agent confirmed Sunderland were one of a number of clubs tracking the frontman.

The 27-year-old helped Livorno to promotion to Serie A last season and that had attracted the interest of several clubs, including the Black Cats and Sampdoria.

Sunderland were thought to have made an enquiry with Livorno, only to be told they would have to shell out a fee around the £6million mark.

The Black Cats look to shelved their interest after learning of that price tag, with no subsequent contact between the clubs, while Sampdoria have likewise been unwilling to raise the stakes after they saw an offer of around £4.5m rejected.

But although a move for Paulinho now looks unlikely, Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio is still eager to boost his forward options this summer.

AZ Alkmaar’s American international Jozy Altidore is Sunderland’s main target up front, while Manchester City’s John Guidetti is also on the club’s shopping list, as Di Canio looks to augment an attack that was largely reliant on top scorer Steven Fletcher last season.

Di Canio wants five strikers at his disposal and currently only has four - Fletcher, Danny Graham, Connor Wickham and Stephane Sessegnon.

But with Sunderland willing to listen to offers for Sessegnon and neither Graham nor Wickham finding the net for the Black Cats in the Premier League last season, there could be scope to bolster the attack with more than one forward.

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