Sunderland face an outlay of around £5million for Leeds defender Sam Byram – if West Ham gazump the Black Cats for Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson.
Arsenal have accepted Sunderland’s loan offer for Jenkinson, but the 23-year-old – currently with the England Under-21 squad at the European Championships – is yet to agree to the switch himself.
“We know we need a right-back and will work tirelessly to bring in Carl.David Gold
West Ham co-chairman David Gold confirmed yesterday that the Hammers want to re-sign Jenkinson on loan after he enjoyed a successful stint at Upton Park last season.
And if the Hammers do manage to pip Sunderland to Jenkinson’s signature, then Byram will be an alternative for the Black Cats after he has been on their radar for the last year.
There have been suggestions this week that Sunderland could have to pay out as much as £8m to prise Byram away from Leeds, despite the 21-year-old approaching the final 12 months of his contract at Elland Road.
But it is understood that an offer in the £5m region could be sufficient to tempt the Championship outfit after they rejected a £4.5m bid from Southampton last summer.
Byram has also been watched by the likes of Newcastle and Liverpool, but he may be more a feasible target than Jenkinson, with West Ham favourites for the Arsenal defender, if they meet the Gunners’ asking price for a loan fee.
“We know we need a right-back and will work tirelessly to bring in Carl,” Gold said yesterday on plans to boost the squad of new manager Slaven Bilic.
“If that does not work out, we have other irons in the fire.
“We said to Slaven ‘get your priority list and let’s see what we can do’.
“We have a track record of working with our managers.”
Sunderland are in the market for at least one new full-back after the departure of out-of-contract Anthony Reveillere has left Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt as the only specialists in that department.
But it is likely to be a case of Byram OR Jenkinson, with the pair both right-backs by trade, albeit they are able to fill in at left-back.