NORWICH City have been linked with Sunderland defender Michael Turner as the Black Cats await news on the injury to fellow centre-half Wes Brown.
Reports today indicate that new Canaries boss Chris Hughton is ready to make a move for Turner (pictured), who has just 12 months remaining on his contract.
The arrival of Bosman signing Carlos Cuellar has left Sunderland well-served in central defence, with the Spaniard joining Turner, Brown, Titus Bramble, Matt Kilgallon and John O’Shea, along with youngsters John Egan and Louis Laing.
Sunderland were understood to be willing to offload one of Turner, Bramble or Kilgallon, with each of the trio in the final year of their contracts.
But manager Martin O’Neill will be hesitant to further deplete his defensive options, if Sunderland’s worst fears are realised over the injury to ex-England international Brown.
The 32-year-old lasted just 35 minutes of Sunderland’s second and final Peace Cup clash in South Korea on Sunday before limping off with a knee problem.
Initial indications suggested that Brown, who missed the final four months of last season through injury, had suffered ligament damage.
But Sunderland will not receive a definitive answer on the extent of Brown’s injury until later this week.
Brown was among the rest of the squad who landed back in the North East yesterday afternoon, ahead of today’s return to training at the Academy of Light, but the former Manchester United man will not be able to undergo tests until the swelling on his knee has receded.
If Brown has suffered serious damage, then it strengthens the prospect of Turner, Bramble and Kilgallon remaining at the Stadium of Light.
Turner is the least likely of the trio to leave, too, after starting the final 20 games of last season – his longest run of consecutive first-team football since arriving at Sunderland three years ago.