Sunderland close in on double swoop

WANTED MAN ... Danny Graham.
WANTED MAN ... Danny Graham.

SUNDERLAND hope to make two new signings before the close of the transfer window tomorrow night – with Danny Graham being one of them.

The 27-year-old striker and his agent stayed behind in the North East last night after Swansea’s goalless draw against the Black Cats last night.

And the Gateshead-born former Middlesbrough and Carlisle front-man is due to have talks today which he hopes will pave the way to a £5m move to the Stadium of Light in the wake of telling Swansea that he wants to leave the Liberty Stadium.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill did not want to give too much away about either of his targets, but confirmed: “We’re looking to bring players in.

“We’ve made bids for a couple of players but we haven’t done it overnight, we did it sometime ago and now we just wait to see how it pans out.

“It’s the prerogative of other clubs to decide what they want to do.

“But there could be a host of signings over the next couple of days.

“I don’t know if that will be the case, but that has been the way of it over the last few years.

“As for us, I’m hopeful of us doing something, but I can’t guarantee that.

“I feel our options are a little bit limited despite the fact we’ve scored a few goal in recent weeks.”

O’Neill said that even if Sunderland did not end up with reinforcements up front, he would not regret the decisions to allow Louis Saha to leave and Ji Dong-won to go out on loan to Bundesliga side Augsburg.

“I think Ji has started a couple of games and I’m pleased for him, but I don’t think he would be the answer to our problems.

“As for Louis Saha, he played some games for us too and I wasn’t totally convinced he was the answer either.”

The smart money is on Graham completing a move to a club he wants to join, especially with Swansea set to get a more than adequate transfer fee for a player who does not seem to figure in manager Michael Laudrup’s long-term plans.

Some have suggested that Graham’s Geordie roots could be a sticking point, and there was a section of supporters who barracked the striker when he came on as a second-half substitute last night, but neither manager thought that would be any sort of issue.

O’Neill said: “Danny Graham is reportedly a Newcastle fan so the fans’ reaction is possibly quite a natural one.

“But Bob Stokoe had strong connections with Newcastle too you know, and that didn’t work out too badly with Sunderland, did it?”

Laudrup observed: “I don’t see Sunderland fans doing anything wrong in criticising Graham because he did what he had to do in playing the game and fans have to do what they have to do in those circumstances.

“In terms of him asking to leave, I don’t want to get involved in that.

“I will answer all questions in my next Press conference on Friday, after the window has closed.”

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