Sunderland AFC briefing - Norwich City win race to sign defender plus latest on Ross McCormack future

Sunderland AFC boss Simon Grayson
Sunderland AFC boss Simon Grayson
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Norwich City have won the race to sign highly-rated Lincoln City defender Sean Raggett.

Sunderland and West Ham United had been heavily linked with the in-demand centre-back but the Canaries have beaten off the competition to sign Raggett.

The fee is officially undisclosed but reports suggest they have paid an initial fee of £250,000 and he has been loaned back to City until January.

The 6ft 5ins centre-back started out in Gillingham’s youth system before joining Dover Athletic at the age of 16 where he made over 150 senior appearances.

Raggett said: "I’m delighted to be here as it’s a massive move for me.

"It’s a big opportunity in my career and I’m really excited. There’s been a lot of speculation but I’ve just focused on my football and I’m really pleased it’s come off."

Norwich head coach Daniel Farke added: "He is a good character and very strong in the air. We will give him the time to improve as a player."

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson is looking to boost his defensive options as well as the forward line before the transfer window closes on August 31.

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Sunderland are not close to any new signings, with former target AFC Bournemouth winger Max Gradel this week moving to French side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.

Grayson, when asked whether they were close to any signings, said: "Not at this moment in time, I think it will go to the last week, it will be busy for a lot of clubs.

"I think that is how it will be. We keep saying we are vulnerable while the window is open but we want to bring in other players as well.

"We missed out on Max Gradel the other day which was unfortunate because the lad wanted to come three weeks ago, we had a deal agreed with Bournemouth.

"He started pre-season so well Bournemouth wanted to keep him around. It shows the calibre of the player we are looking at. He would have been a good player for us.

"We move on to other targets."

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And finally Sunderland's pursuit of Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack continues

Work is ongoing to secure McCormack on a season-long loan deal with Grayson stressing the need for patience in pursuit of further targets.

The striker is understood to be on big wages at Villa Park but is free to leave this summer despite Villa's poor start to the new campaign.

Steve Bruce's side are second-bottom in the Championship with just a point from their opening three games.

Bruce wants to bring in another striker and he has today confirmed he is interested in Southampton striker Sam Gallagher. Bringing in another striker would help speed up McCormack's departure.

At this morning’s press conference when asked about Gallagher he told the Birmingham Mail: "Every club in the Championship has been linked with him.

"It’s something we’re looking at us. He interests us yes."