SUNDERLAND have slapped a £1million price tag on David Vaughan before they sanction the departure of last season’s derby hero.
As the Echo revealed earlier this summer, Sunderland are ready to let Vaughan leave the Stadium of Light, with the 30-year-old now in the final 12 months of his Black Cats contract.
Vaughan has been limited to a fringe role during pre-season, with the Welsh international an unused substitute in both of Sunderland’s Barclays Asia Trophy matches last month.
But it is understood that Sunderland are not willing to let Vaughan leave for less than £1m, as the club look to recoup some revenue after adding eight players to the first-team squad so far this summer.
Crystal Palace, managed by Vaughan’s former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway, have been tracking the Welsh international this summer and remain favourites to land the midfielder.
But the Premier League new boys are still to agree a fee with Sunderland for Vaughan, who is in the Black Cats squad for tonight’s final pre-season friendly against Midtjylland.
Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio is keen to continue changing his options in central midfield, despite adding Cabral and El-Hadji Ba to the engine room this summer.
Di Canio still wants to add a creative playmaker to his squad, and that would only push Vaughan further down the pecking order.
Although Sunderland have allowed Alfred N’Diaye to return to Turkey on a season-long loan and Lee Cattermole’s Black Cats future looks bleak, Di Canio still has plenty of options in midfield.
Cabral and Ba have joined Seb Larsson, Jack Colback and Craig Gardner as central midfield possibilities, even if the latter duo are currently filling in as makeshift full-backs.
Vaughan, who grabbed the third goal in April’s stunning 3-0 win at Newcastle United, is likely to be restricted to a bit-part role for a second successive campaign after starting just six Premier League games last season.
And that has prompted Sunderland to be willing to cut Vaughan from the wage bill after letting six first-teamers leave the club already this summer.