SUNDERLAND have not made a bid for Ricardo Fuller and the 31-year-old Jamaican striker will not be moving to the Stadium of Light, writes Graeme Anderson.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis yesterday claimed the Wearsiders had made a firm bid and were in talks over his signing.
But that now appears as though it could have been a bit of kidology from the Potters boss as he looks to flush out interest in a player who is on the way out at the Britannia Stadium.
Fuller (left) has scored 42 goals for Stoke City in 160 appearances after joining the club from Southampton in 2006 but this season has scored just three goals in 23 appearances and with big targetman John Carew having joined from Aston Villa this month, Fuller’s days are numbered.
Sunderland looked to take advantage of Fuller being surplus to requirements at the Britannia and made an inquiry this month hoping to sign him as cover in case Asamoah Gyan picked up an injury.
But they were stunned at the initial asking price of £5m and although Stoke were rapidly prepared to come down to £4m and then £3m, Sunderland had already moved on.
Stoke now find themselves with an impressive but expensive squad which includes six forwards – former Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones, former Barcelona frontman Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jonathan Walters, Tuncay, Carew and Fuller.
And in that light it is understandable that Pulis has been talking up the interest in Fuller: “Sunderland have made an offer and both clubs are talking but it isn’t just Sunderland – one or two clubs have rung up about Ric,” he claimed yesterday.
But Sunderland have no intention of moving for Fuller this weekend. And it remains to be seen whether the player gets the last pay day he is looking for elsewhere in the current window.