Sunderland AFC news: Black Cats linked with Porto midfielder, Ayew latest, Allardyce to move for Harper?

Is Steven Harper Sunderland-bound?
Is Steven Harper Sunderland-bound?
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Sam Allardyce has revealed he wants to bring in a back-up goalkeeper this month - and ex-Newcastle United stopper Steven Harper has been linked.

Earlier this week Allardyce allowed Costel Pantilimon to leave for Watford, joining the Hornets on a three-and-a-half-year deal, leaving him with Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford as his goalkeeping options.

Mannone has been publicly backed as the club's No 1, despite Pickford starring in the 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Allardyce, though, admits he needs another keeper in as a back-up though and free agent Harper fits the bill.

The 40-year-old has been keeping himself fit, while doing media work here in the North East, since leaving Hull City in the summer and would be available until the end of the season.

We held a live Q&A with Sunderland reporter Chris Young today and he provided an update.

Young said: "The back-up goalkeeper situation is expected to be resolved next week.

"I've seen a few names flying about - Paul Robinson, Darryl Flahavan and Steve Harper.

"I'd heard whispers about Harper a few weeks back, so don't rule that one out, despite the NUFC links. I'd expect it to be an out-of-contract player regardless."

Harper, from Seaham, played for Newcastle United for 20 years.

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Meanwhile, Andre Ayew continues to dominate the January transfer market.

Ayew remains a player that Sunderland are eager to sign to address the attacking void, and the Black Cats are understood to be continuing their attempts to negotiate a deal for the Ghana international.

Ayew’s camp are thought to be open to a move to the Stadium of Light, even though Swansea have insisted that the 26-year-old is not for sale.

However, new Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin is understood to be a fan of Sunderland forward Fabio Borini, with the idea of a potential swap deal involving the Italian believed to have originated from the Welsh club.

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And finally, reports today suggest Sunderland have been knocked back in an attempt to sign Porto's defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

The 23-year-old Frenchman only joined Porto last summer and has also been linked with moves to Aston Villa, West Brom, Southampton and Stoke City.

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