Sunderland fans may have been disappointed to see Micah Richards join Aston Villa having been linked with the defender themselves. However, there are several names still in the ring for the Black Cats.
Carl Jenkinson is rumoured to be signing on loan for Sunderland for a deal worth £1.5 million. With Billy Jones as the only designated right-back at the club, the deal would suit all parties.
Sunderland would get a promising young left-back and in return, the experience of regular Premier League game-time would almost definitely aid his development.
It's no secret that Jones' hamstrings have troubled him throughout his career and it wouldn't come as a surprise if Sunderland signed two right-backs.
The Wearsiders are said to be in the race for Leeds' star Sam Byram. However, it is unlikely that Sunderland are prepared to offer the supposed asking price of £8 million. Signing an untested player who is entering the last year of his contract for £8 million could be a catastrophic from the Black Cats.
Sunderland need younger defenders
Wes Brown recently signed a new one-year deal, something which caused mixed reviews from the red and white faithful.
Similar to Jones, Brown spent a large part of last season in the treatment room. The difference between Brown and Jones is that Brown is 35.
An ageing defender is not what's needed in the Premier League and although Brown does bring a wealth of experience, Sunderland need to sign a young solid central defender.
Virgil van Dijk has been heavily linked with the Wearsiders and is set to leave Celtic in the summer. The young centre-back feels he has done all he can in the SPL and has set his sights on a new challenge.
Unfortunately for Sunderland, Ajax boss Frank de Boer has advised van Dijk not to take the opportunity of moving there and has instead urged the defender to go after Champions League football. The highly rated defender has an asking price of £10 million and with Dick Advocaat gifted a £40 million year transfer budget, hopefully Sunderland can prove de Boer wrong.
As the club conceded 18 goals to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Southampton and were again involved in a relegation battle, it's no surprise that owner Ellis Short is set to splash out on new recruitments.
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