SUNDERLAND should complete the signing of Bristol City defender Bailey Wright in the next 24 hours, and are pondering a move for Shrewsbury Town midfielder Oliver Norburn after their attempts to sign Greg Docherty from Rangers suffered a major setback.

Wright travelled to Wearside yesterday to undergo a medical and finalise the personal terms of his switch from Ashton Gate.

The Australian centre-half has entered the final six months of his contract with Bristol City, and Sunderland have agreed a minimal fee that will see him make a permanent switch to the Stadium of Light.

Luton Town also attempted to sign Wright last week, but Sunderland have won the battle for his signature. A 27-year-old with 24 senior Australia caps, Wright skippered Bristol City and was Phil Parkinson’s leading defensive target from the moment he was appointed Black Cats boss.

He will battle with Jordan Willis, Tom Flanagan, Alim Ozturk and Joel Lynch for a place in Sunderland’s back three, and become the Black Cats’ second January signing, following Kyle Lafferty, who signed a short-term deal to the end of the season.

Parkinson is keen to complete another two or three deals before the transfer window closes at the end of next week, with the addition of another midfielder and forward a priority.

The Black Cats boss had hoped to land Docherty, and a deal looked likely when the 23-year-old agreed to move to Wearside last week.

However, talks have stalled after Sunderland officials failed to agree a financial package with their counterparts at Ibrox

The Rangers hierarchy want the Black Cats to pay a higher proportion of the midfielder’s wages, but Sunderland have refused to budge from their initial offer.

As a result, Rangers have signalled a willingness to listen to alternative approaches, with Championship side Charlton Athletic having emerged as strong competitors in the last 24 hours.

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is hoping to push through a loan deal before the weekend, with talks having taken place yesterday afternoon.

If Docherty ends up moving to the Valley, Parkinson will switch his attention to alternative targets, with Norburn currently regarded as the leading alternative option ahead of Cardiff City’s Will Vaulks.

Norburn joined Shrewsbury in 2018 after spells at a number of clubs including Plymouth, Macclesfield and Tranmere and has established himself as one of the most consistent midfield performers in League One.

He has made 23 starts for Shrewsbury this season, scoring three goals, and was part of the Shrews side that claimed a 1-0 win over Sunderland in late October.

Sunderland are ready to make a move for the 27-year-old in the next couple of days, and are hoping to persuade the Shrewsbury board to do business.

It is likely to be a busy end to the transfer window on Wearside, with Parkinson also continuing to discuss possible deals for a number of different forwards.

Burton’s Liam Boyce remains an option, and Parkinson has discussed the Northern Irishman’s position with the hierarchy at the Pirelli Stadium on a number of occasions in the last week. Boyce is due to become a free agent at the end of the current campaign, and Burton are unlikely to offer him a new deal.

Parkinson has also spoken to Bristol City about Antoine Semenyo, with the youngster expected to leave Ashton Gate in order to increase his chances of regular football.

There are likely to be exits before the end of the month, and Parkinson is willing to listen to offers for Will Grigg.
However, Sunderland are reluctant to loan their £3m striker to one of their promotion rivals in League One.

Blackpool had been keen to do a deal last week, but the Black Cats ruled out Grigg joining the Seasiders.
A switch to a side in League Two is more likely, and Salford have offered to make a £5,000-a-week contribution to Grigg’s wages for the rest of the season.

Ideally, Sunderland would like to remove more of the striker’s pay packet from their own list of outgoings, but Swindon are understood to have made a similar offer. As things stand, the Black Cats will wait for another few days to see if anyone comes forward with a more attractive package.