SUNDERLAND

Sunderland’s hopes of signing Ben Woodburn on loan have been dashed after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp blocked the youngster’s proposed move to Wearside.

Black Cats boss Chris Coleman is desperate to sign Woodburn, who worked under him with Wales, but Klopp has told the youngster that, as things stand, he will not be leaving Anfield this month.

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The Northern Echo: Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring on his Wales debut

Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona has left Liverpool short of attacking options, and with matches in the FA Cup and Europe to consider, Klopp does not want to lose Woodburn.

Sunderland have seen Lewis Grabban and James Vaughan leave the Stadium of Light this month, and for the second week running, it looks as though inexperienced duo Josh Maja and Joel Asoro will be their only attacking options for Saturday’s crucial relegation clash with Hull City.

Meanwhile, Jack Rodwell has broken his silence after Sunderland offered to rip up the remaining 18 months of his contract – and has effectively ruled out walking away from Wearside with nothing.

Rodwell, who is understood to earn £70,000-a-week, has expressed a desire to leave the Stadium of Light this month, in order to kick-start a career that has stalled badly in the last year.

Sunderland officials are happy to see him leave, but do not want to have to pay up the remainder of his deal. They would like him to walk away without a pay-off, but Rodwell is clearly in no mood to write off more than £6m.

“I think it’s unfair to ask that of a player,” said Rodwell, in an interview with the Daily Mail. “I haven’t put in a transfer request but I understand the club’s stance and their position and, because of that, I understand it’s beneficial for everyone if I move on.

“But it’s not the fault of any footballer if a club decides to pay you a certain amount. I have worked from seven years old to get here; to then ask someone to just throw it away, that’s difficult.

“I never wanted this. I joined Sunderland, a great club, to be successful, to feel at home again. It hasn’t worked out, but that’s not through lack of effort.

“Now, for me, it’s not about money, it’s about playing. If that means moving on to help the club in a situation that suited all parties, I would need no convincing. I’m a footballer, I want a football club.

“Why would I just walk away and be left jobless? The transfer window has two weeks to run and I’m prepared to do anything to play — any decision will be based on the chance to play football, not money.”


NEWCASTLE

With Amanda Staveley’s proposed takeover of Newcastle United having collapsed, Rafael Benitez is focusing all his attention on trying to persuade Mike Ashley to release some funds before the transfer window closes in less than two weeks’ time.

Ashley is willing to sanction two or three signings this month – but they are likely to be loan deals, and even they are proving difficult to complete.

Kenedy’s eye-catching display for Chelsea in last night’s FA Cup replay win over Norwich City helped explain why Benitez is so keen to sign the full-back - but also highlighted why Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is so reluctant to lose him.

The Northern Echo: Kenedy

Kenedy, who was the BBC’s Man of the Match last night, is currently Chelsea’s only wing-back cover for Marcos Alonso, and he will not be leaving Stamford Bridge unless that changes. As a result, he is more likely to be lining up against Newcastle in this month’s FA Cup fourth-round tie than to be on the Magpies’ books when the game takes place.

Newcastle have also been looking at Islam Slimani, but while the Leicester striker is expected to leave the King Power Stadium on loan this month, Watford are leading the race for his services.

Fulham are interested in signing Dwight Gayle, and Newcastle could look to include the striker in a swap deal for Tom Cairney. However, that would leave Benitez needing to make an additional signing in attack, and that could prove difficult with the transfer clock ticking.


MIDDLESBROUGH

Adam Forshaw’s departure to Leeds United should be confirmed later today, with the midfielder having agreed to leave Teesside in a package worth around £4m.

Will he be the only central midfielder heading to pastures new this month? Tony Pulis will be reluctant to lose too many players in the same position, but Adam Clayton continues to attract attention, with Nottingham Forest reportedly having lined up a £2m bid.

The Northern Echo:

Clayton has not been starting under Pulis, but he has been coming off the substitutes’ bench in recent weeks, and Boro are unlikely to be interested in conducting any business for the kind of figures that Forest appear to be quoting.

One departure from Boro was confirmed yesterday, with young midfielder Marcus Tavernier joining MK Dons on loan.

Will the exits enable Pulis to bring in a couple of signings of his own this month? The new Boro boss had been looking at Liverpool youngster Marko Grujic, but the Serbian has joined Cardiff City on loan.

Boro have also been linked with Lewis Grabban this morning, but the Teessiders are hardly short of attacking options and a move for the former Sunderland trainee looks extremely unlikely.


OTHER CLUBS

Chelsea are looking to make a move for West Ham's Andy Carroll, and the former Newcastle United striker has told the Irons he is injured and unable to train, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Northern Echo: Brazil-bound? Andy Carroll. Picture: Action Images

The paper said that Carroll, 29, is wanted by the Stamford Bridge club owing to his height with Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke also among the options being considered.

Everton could be tempted to make a move for Juan Bernat from Bayern Munich to solve the left-back problem at Goodison Park, says the Liverpool Echo. The 24-year-old has fallen out of favour at Bayern and could be looking elsewhere to ensure he gets first-team football.

Hector Bellerin could be on his way out of the Emirates, writes the Daily Star. The paper says Juventus will look at making a summer bid for the Arsenal defender, and will tempt him with the opportunity to play Champions League football next season.

Jean-Michael Seri is hot property - with Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris St Germain all looking at the 26-year-old, the Sun reports. Seri moved to Nice in 2015 for £750,000 but the Ligue 1 club can expect offers far north of that, the paper said.

Richarlison is angling for a summer move away from Watford, with his representatives holding talks with both Chelsea and Arsenal, the Watford Observer reports. The Vicarage Road side have said he will not be leaving in January which leaves the window open to a move at the end of the season, the paper said.