Sunderland to fight off interest in Jordan Pickford - with Manchester United circling

Jordan Pickford in action for Sunderland
Jordan Pickford in action for Sunderland
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Sunderland will look to fight off any interest in highly-rated young stopper Jordan Pickford - with Manchester United circling.

Pickford - fresh from helping England Under-21s win the Toulon Tournament - is in demand after breaking through this season.

United, who have long been linked with a move, sent a delegation of scouts to France to see the Washington-born 22-year-old in action at the tournament.

Sunderland wouldn't welcome any bids this summer though, with Pickford set to battle it out with Vito Mannone in pre-season for the number one spot next year.

Manager Sam Allardyce is a huge fan of Pickford, with Sunderland determined to keep hold of one of their prized assets.

The Old Trafford club are chasing a new keeper to eventually replace player of the year David De Gea, with Pickford on their shortlist.

Pickford caught the eye in his three appearances for Sunderland's first team last season after being recalled from his stint on loan at Championship side Preston North End.

Pickford joined Preston on a season-long loan last summer, keeping 13 clean sheets in 27 appearances during the first half of the campaign.

He then featured for Sunderland against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the FA Cup and twice in the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur and at Watford on the final day.

Spurs have also been credited with an interest in Pickford, who is earmarked as the long-term number one on Wearside.

Pickford signed a new long-term contract in January to stay at the Stadium of Light until 2020.