Sunderland rule out bid for Galatasaray striker

NO DEAL ...Johan Elmander, left, battles Sunderland's John Mensah during his Bolton days.
NO DEAL ...Johan Elmander, left, battles Sunderland's John Mensah during his Bolton days.

SUNDERLAND have been linked in Turkey with a possible summer move for Galatasaray striker Johan Elmander.

The Black Cats are reported to be rivals with Steve Bruce’s Hull City for the signature of the 32-year-old forward, well-known to English fans from his time spent at Bolton Wanderers.

But is unlikely that the Swedish international is a genuine target for Sunderland – even though the forward’s reputation is enhanced after going into the close season on the back of a second title-winning campaign.

Elmander has been transfer-listed by Galatasaray as the club looks to comply with tighter foreign player restrictions brought in by the Turkish Football Federation – and that has put Hull on alert.

Bruce wants to add muscle and experience to his front-line, and imposing Elmander would supply both. On top of that, the 32-year-old knows all about English football after being at the Reebok Stadium from 2008-11, where he scored 18 goals in 82 starts.

But the powerful striker has never been particularly prolific, and much of last season found himself struggling with injuries.

After joining Galatasaray on a free transfer from Bolton, he scored 12 times in 30 games 2011-12 title winning season.

Last season he scored four goals in 14 appearances, but he will be relatively cheap to bring in. Elmander was Bolton’s most expensive signing when he joined in a £10m deal from Toulouse, but he is believed to be available for £400,000.

However, he does not fit the game-plan of either Sunderland owner Ellis Short or head coach Paolo Di Canio.

Short is looking to lower wage bills and buy players in as investments who have their best years ahead of him.

Di Canio too wants to bring in youthful players, but he also wants to up the Black Cats goalscoring dramatically, and Elmander would not be the answer to that particular problem.