Sunderland AFC news: Black Cats tracking Celtic star, England's Watmore hailed, midfield ace could sign

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce
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Sunderland are weighing up a January swoop for Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton, according to reports north of the border.

The Scottish press have linked Sam Allardyce with a move for the central midfielder, with scouts watching him in action in both domestic and European fixtures this campaign.

The Israeli international has impressed at Parkhead this season, making 22 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring five goals after developing his game into a more attacking midfield role.

The 24-year-old recently signed a new deal to tie him down to the Scottish champions until 2020 so any deal would have to involve a hefty transfer fee.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate praised the “fantastic impact” made by Duncan Watmore after the Sunderland forward came off the substitutes’ bench to inspire England Under-21s to a 3-1 Euro 2017 qualification victory over Switzerland

Read Southgate's comments in full here:

England Under-21s captain James Ward-Prowse admits the squad were “buzzing” for super sub Watmore after the 3-1 win over Switzerland.

The Three Lions were trailing to a goal from Shani Barashaj at the break and finding it tough to break down their visitors with time running out.

But the introduction of Sunderland forward Watmore changed the game, as he won a penalty for Ward-Prowse to equalise from before scoring a second and then setting up a third for fellow sub Chuba Akpom.

"We're delighted for Duncan," admitted Ward-Prowse.

"He's a fantastic, nice lad and a really good professional with a really good spirit about him and that game was perfect for him to come into - all of the lads are buzzing for him.

"And we had a laugh in the changing room as he [Gareth Southgate] gave us a shout of 'Get in!' after his little speech at the end so all of the lads were buzzing off it."

And the Echo led today on Yann M'Vila after he announced he would leave the negotiations over his future to his agent, while he concentrates on getting his career back on track.

Despite conceding a costly penalty in Sunderland’s defeat against Southampton 10 days ago, M’Vila has been the pick of the Black Cats’ summer signings after arriving on a season-long loan from Ruben Kazan.

There is a clause inserted in M’Vila’s loan deal to convert it into a permanent switch next summer, if Sunderland are still in the Premier League.