SUNDERLAND are not chasing West Ham’s Frederic Piquionne but their efforts to bring in a striker this transfer window are continuing, despite claims the club has abandoned hope of bringing in reinforcements to help the club’s only fit forward, Asamoah Gyan.
Reports from several news sources said yesterday that manager Steve Bruce had tabled a £3.5m bid for the Hammers’ forward on Monday and were preparing to go back in with an improved £4m bid for the 32-year-old but the Echo understands that that is simply not the case.
Sunderland, however, have not given up hope of bringing in a striker before the window closes on Monday and are working quietly behind the scenes on a number of fronts.
Sunderland’s policy since Darren Bent’s departure has been to make realistic offers for several strikers who Bruce sees as capable of playing alongside Gyan until the returns of Fraizer Campbell and Danny Welbeck in March.
And the club is quietly confident that before the window closes, one or more of those clubs will come back to the negotiating table prepared to be realistic and do business.
If there is no progress with a striker, but Sunderland succeed in their pursuit of signing targets Stephane Sessegnon and Sulley Muntari, then Bruce will feel that he has added extra firepower to his squad anyway.
Sessegnon is able to play in the same role as Kieran Richardson did against Blackpool at the weekend – in a role immediately behind lone striker Gyan – and is more than comfortable in an advanced position.
Bruce would be tempted to use Sessegnon as as a support striker for Gyan in the short-term and with Muntari’s reputation as an attacking midfielder, would feel that he has added players to the squad who will improve Sunderland’s chances of getting goals.