SUNDERLAND target Shaun Goater last night pleaded with Manchester City not to price him out of a dream move.

The 33-year-old striker is on the transfer list at his own request, and Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy is understood to be ready to do business providing the Bermudian is available for a nominal fee.

And Goater, who scored more than 100 goals in six years for City, would jump at the chance of a move to the Stadium of Light.

But the former Bristol City man fears he will be priced out of a switch to Wearside by City boss Kevin Keegan - who has admitted he wants money for the forward.

"I have not set a limit on my playing career, but I will be looking for a two-year contract,'' said Goater, who was bought for £400,000 in 1998.

"A lot has to happen before that, and because I have a year left on my contract clubs have to approach Manchester City first.

"I only hope the fee which City ask will be a reasonable one and something will be sorted out."

Goater is convinced he will be able to turn on the style in the Nationwide and fire possible buyers into the top-flight.

"The First Division is about the level I want to play at because I do like a certain amount of pressure," he said. "The bigger the crowd, the bigger the expectation, that is what I thrive on.

"I know all First Division clubs, no matter what their size, are interested in getting into the Premiership. I believe I can help them achieve their goals."

Goater and other Sunderland targets were last night urged to remain patient and wait for the First Division new-boys to make their move.

McCarthy has been told he has to slash the club's wage bill before starting his own rebuilding job.

Since McCarthy took over in March he has been unable to bring in his own players, as the prospect of relegation loomed large.

But, with their fate sealed, the Sunderland chief is hoping to be busy in the transfer market this summer, providing he can sell a number of his prize assets.

Kevin Phillips, Thomas Sorensen and former England midfielder Gavin McCann are all expected to leave the Stadium of Light over the coming months.

And that trio are expected to be followed out of the door by a host of fringe players, many of whom will be handed free transfers or leave on Bosman deals - including flying Frenchman David Bellion.

Once some of the club's £26m-plus debts have been eased it will only be then that McCarthy will be allowed to negotiate with stars on his shopping list.

As well as Goater, Wimbledon's David Connolly, Huddersfield's Martin Smith and Celtic's Colin Healy are all known to be in the former Republic of Ireland boss's sights. And McCarthy hopes his targets will not decide to move to other clubs before he gets the chance to convince them to join his Wearside revolution.

"My first priority is to move people out," said McCarthy, who knows most new signings will have to arrive on free deals. "If people I might want to bring in have two or three offers on the table and one of them is from us, I would like to think they will wait for us."

Meanwhile, two of Sunderland's youngsters have been called up for international honours.

Defender George McCartney has been named in the Northern Ireland squad for their friendly with Italy on June 3, and teammate Patrick Collins has been called up by the England Under 18s for a tournament in Lisbon.

l Kevin Kyle last night scored one and made the other in Scotland Futures 2-1 win over Northern Ireland B.