SUNDERLAND are in the process of making a genuine bid to sign John Guidetti after TWO years of being linked with the Manchester City striker, writes Graeme Anderson.
The Black Cats were first said to be interested in the Swedish goalscoring sensation in the summer of 2011, when they were exploring the possibility of a loan move which never came off.
But with Guidetti being represented by Roberto De Fanti, a long-time associate of Ellis Short, rumours of a possible move have never been too far away,
De Fanti has now moved on to become Sunderland’s director of football, but interest in Guidetti remains.
And the Echo understands that tentative talks have been opened about the prospect of the 21-year-old moving to the Stadium of Light.
A mystery virus ruined the full Swedish international’s 2012-13 season, and he did not play a single game last campaign.
But before being laid low, he had earned himself a reputation as one of Europe’s hottest prospects.
He was snapped up by City at the age of only 16 and rapidly established himself as a prolific striker at youth level before scoring a hat-trick on his reserve-team debut against Burnley.
But it was on loan spells where he really made his name, in particular at Feyenoord in the 2011-12 season when he scored 20 goals in 23 games for the Dutch side, to suggest a place in Manchester City’s first-team might not be too far away.
Now the youngster finds himself in limbo with the arrival in Eastlands of new manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Previous City boss Roberto Mancini had been a big fan of Guidetti’s potential.
But, with the Swede having been out for a year and Pellegrini arriving under pressure to take City up another level, the Chilean manager might be prepared to cut his losses on the young striker, or at the very least send him on season-long loan.
Either of those options would appeal to Sunderland, who hope De Fanti’s presence at the Stadium of Light will induce Guidetti to decide that if he is allowed to leave Eastlands this summer – temporarily or permanently – the Stadium of Light will be his destination of choice.
And behind the scenes, the signs are promising that the move might finally be set to happen this summer.