SUNDERLAND’S interest in Matej Vydra has been put on ice, with Italian outfit Udinese taking a patient approach on offers for the Czech striker.
The Black Cats were one of a number of Premier League clubs to have made an enquiry for Vydra earlier in the summer after the 21-year-old netted 20 goals during a loan spell with Watford last season.
Swansea, West Brom and West Ham have also been interested in a season-long loan for Vydra, whose agent travelled to England last week in an attempt to secure his client a move to the top flight.
But it is understood that there have been no further developments regarding Vydra’s potential move to Sunderland, who have now boosted their attacking options with the £6million capture of American international Jozy Altidore.
Vydra has returned to pre-season training with Udinese, who remain prepared to sell the frontman if their £8m asking price is met.
But with another seven weeks to run of the transfer window, Udinese are in no rush to make a decision on Vydra and are likely to wait until next month to see if they can cash in on him before considering whether to sanction a second successive loan exit.
Vydra is one of a number of strikers Sunderland have been considering this summer in addition to their prime target Altidore.
Manchester City’s John Guidetti remains an option, while Sunderland were also linked with Juventus’ Italian international Alessandro Matri this week after the negotiations between the two clubs which have seen midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini lie on the verge of a move to the Stadium of Light.
Reports in Italy yesterday credited Sunderland with an interest in Catania’ Argentine striker Maxi Lopez too.
But Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio wanted a five-man senior strike force to choose from next season and he has now reached that tally, six if Ji Dong-won is included, alongside Steven Fletcher, Stephane Sessegnon, Danny Graham, Connor Wickham and Altidore.
Ji found the net after playing the opening 45 minutes in Wednesday’s behind-closed-doors game against a local select XI at Sunderland’s pre-season training camp, in Italy.
But despite reports in Germany this week that Borussia Dortmund’s interest in Ji has faded, the South Korean is still expected to be offloaded by Sunderland this summer.
Ji has just a year remaining on his Sunderland contract and the Black Cats are ready to cash in on the 22-year-old’s high stock in the Bundesliga after his successful loan spell at Augsburg last season.
Room could be made in Sunderland’s attack though, if the club receive a tempting bid for Sessegnon, Wickham or Graham.