SUNDERLAND are pursuing a number of attacking targets as Gustavo Poyet steps up his bid to bring in at least one new striker.
Poyet, who has taken Crewe Alexandra prospect Max Clayton on a two-week trial, has strengthened his squad in every area except up front this summer and has made that department a priority.
As well as making a fresh offer, believed to be still short of the £10.5m asking price, for Liverpool’s Fabio Borini, Sunderland are also keeping an eye on Moussa Sow’s situation at Fenerbahce and Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin.
As things stand Sunderland are not short of strikers, although Poyet clearly would like to bring in his own men and there is growing uncertainty centred on the futures of Connor Wickham and Ignacio Scocco.
Interest has grown in Wickham, who has entered the last 12 months of his contract, in the last few weeks and Newells Old Boys are trying to strike a deal for Scocco.
The Argentina club have had an offer of £1.75m rejected, which would have seen Sunderland hold 50 per cent ownership of Scocco while offloading the wages he agreed when he completed a £4m move in January.
Sow, the Senegalese striker, is high in Poyet's thinking, although his Turkish employers are going to have to lower their £12m asking price. Monaco are also interested, and the 28-year-old is keen on a move to England.
He said: “There is a lot of talk. I am happy at Fenerbahce and I don’t think about leaving. However, everyone knows I want to play in the Premier League one day.”
Clayton represents a much cheaper alternative, although he has never been tested at the highest level. He is out of contract at Crewe, who would be due compensation under the terms of the Elite Player Performance Plan, and the 19-year-old looks set to leave the League One club.
Crewe manager Steve Davis said: “All I can tell our supporters is that he is currently training with another club. They have spoken to us and as he is out of contract, he can go where he likes. He is within his rights to do that.
“It will be a type of trial and they will make a decision on him after that. They must be keen on him to have a look at him and if he impresses, I am sure they will come back with an offer.”