Clause complication for Sunderland target Fletcher

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

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SUNDERLAND’S pursuit of Steven Fletcher could be complicated by a sell-on clause owed to the striker’s former club Burnley.

Wolves hitman Fletcher remains firmly on Sunderland’s radar as the Black Cats look to boost an attack that has been left threadbare following the summer departures of Nicklas Bendtner and Asamoah Gyan.

Fletcher, along with Aston Villa’s Gabby Agbonlahor, is on Martin O’Neill’s shortlist, although the Black Cats boss confirmed yesterday that no new arrivals are imminent at the Stadium of Light.

Wolves have put a £10million price tag on Fletcher’s head – despite reports that they are looking for a fee around the £14m mark for the 25-year-old.

But last season’s Premier League basement boys are unlikely to accept a figure significantly below £10m, due to a clause in the deal which took Fletcher to Molineux.

Wolves paid £6.5m to prise Fletcher away from Burnley two years ago and the Clarets are thought to be owed between 10 and 15 per cent of any future profit on the player.

That will obviously impact on Sunderland, with Wolves keen to maximise their return on a player who has hit double figures in league goals in each of his two seasons in the Black Country.

However, Burnley are keen on Wolves hitman Sam Vokes – who spent two months on loan at Turf Moor last season – and that could see a compromise reached over the clause.

Meanwhile, Sunderland target Junior Hoilett is on the verge of completing a move to big-spending QPR.

Hoilett is thought to have plumped for QPR after holding talks with German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach and will become the fifth summer signing for Mark Hughes’ men, providing any work permit issues are overcome.

The Canadian has been one of the most sought-after players on the market this summer after reaching the end of his contract at relegated Blackburn.

Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle and Sunderland are all thought to have held talks with Hoilett’s camp about the possibility of a deal, but QPR have been willing to meet the 22-year-old’s lofty wage demands of more than £50,000 a week.

That figure was well above Sunderland’s highest earner, with O’Neill now forced to look towards other targets.

Losing out to Hoilett will still come as a blow though after Sunderland chief scout Pop Robson watched the winger in action several times for Blackburn last season.

O’Neill remains keen to add more width to the side and the likes of Ireland international Aiden McGeady and Blackpool’s Matt Phillips have been mooted as possible alternatives.

A move for the latter looks unlikely though, with Championship club Blackpool resolved to keeping the 21-year-old Scotland international and under no pressure to sell.

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