WILL GRIGG’S departure is set to trigger a busy deadline day on Wearside, with Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson ready to move for a forward target of his own once the Northern Irishman’s exit is confirmed.

Grigg is expected to leave Sunderland ahead of this evening’s 11pm deadline, with Doncaster Rovers having moved ahead of MK Dons in the race to complete his capture.

Provided Grigg’s exit goes through without a hitch, Johnson will look to bring in a forward, having held preliminary talks with Bayern Munich over Germany youth winger Leon Dajaku.

Dajaku joined Union Berlin on loan in January, but the Bundesliga side have turned down the option to make the move permanent. As a result, Bayern are looking for alternative options for the 20-year-old.

Ideally, Johnson would like to recruit a versatile forward who could play right across the frontline in order to increase his attacking options, and Dajaku would appear to fit the bill.

Sunderland have been looking to offload Grigg throughout the summer transfer window, with the 30-year-old having failed to feature in a single league game this season. On Saturday, he did not even make the 18-man squad for the Black Cats’ home win over Wycombe.

Doncaster are understood to have agreed the framework of a three-year deal with Grigg and his representatives, although Sunderland may have to pay a portion of the striker’s wages for at least the remainder of this season in order to get him off the books.

“We’ve got two players lined up that we’d like to bring in,” confirmed Rovers boss Richie Wellens at the weekend. “We have the potential to bring two players in, if we can manoeuvre things around to get them. They’ll be a huge difference to us.

“I don’t even think it’s about making the phone calls now. The phone calls have been made, in one of the cases, in the previous eight weeks or so.”

One of the players Sunderland have been considering as Grigg’s replacement is Sheffield United youngster Daniel Jebbison.

The Black Cats would be interested in taking Jebbison on a season-long loan, and the 18-year-old watched Sunderland’s final pre-season game against Hull as a guest at the Stadium of Light.

However, since that evening, Sheffield United have found themselves fielding a number of calls from Premier League clubs looking to sigh Jebbison permanently.

Initially, they indicated to Sunderland that they would prefer to hold on to the Canada-born youngster and set up a loan rather than a permanent sale.
However, with Southampton and Everton both prepared to make significant offers, the Blades’ position appears to have altered. Heading into deadline day, it looks as though Jebbison is destined for a permanent exit from Bramall Lane, a development that will scupper Sunderland’s hopes of signing him unless Sheffield United shift their stance.

Things are looking more hopeful in relation to Ryan Alebiosu, with the Arsenal youngster close to finalising a season-long switch to Wearside.
Alebiosu, a 19-year-old right-back with joint English and Nigerian citizenship, signed his first professional contract with Arsenal last summer, and was a regular for the club’s Under-23s last season.

This would be his first senior loan move, but Johnson is hoping he can provide some competition and cover for Carl Winchester, who looks set to spend the bulk of the season playing at full-back rather than in midfield.

On what is set to be a busy day ahead of the deadline, Jack Diamond should complete a season-long exit from Sunderland, with Harrogate currently leading the race to secure his signature.

Two seasons ago, Diamond had a successful loan spell at Harrogate, with his performances helping the North Yorkshire club win promotion from the National League.

Harrogate boss Simon Weaver would love to re-sign the 21-year-old, but a number of other League Two clubs have also lodged an interest.