SWANSEA City are the latest club to be linked with Jack Colback, as the out-of-contract Sunderland man reaches decision time over his future.
Colback wants to finalise the next step in his career in the next 48 hours, as he mulls over Sunderland’s latest offer of a new deal to keep him at the Stadium of Light.
The Echo understands that Sunderland’s bid is significantly improved and have met the demands which Colback’s representatives were originally looking for.
But if the academy product opts to rejects Sunderland’s overtures and move on to pastures new, then he has a wide choice of suitors, with Swansea mooted as the latest in a long line of clubs looking to land the 24-year-old.
As reported last week, there are 11 clubs on Colback’s trail, including Newcastle, Everton, Hull and West Ham, with the latter at the forefront of the queue to sign him.
Colback is thought to be wary of the baggage which would accompany a switch to St James’s Park, while the Killingworth-born midfielder is firmly in the sights of Hull boss Steve Bruce, albeit the ex-Sunderland manager accepts that the Tigers are outsiders for his signature.
But Sunderland have made their pitch and have to hope that Colback’s eagerness to remain in the North East, coupled with his improved performances under Gus Poyet at the end of the campaign, will persuade him to accept the club’s improved offer.
Meanwhile, Southampton have been linked with Colback’s fellow out-of-contract Sunderland player, Oscar Ustari.
Head coach Poyet is eager to keep Ustari at the Stadium of Light after being impressed by the Argentine goalkeeper’s attitude and performances on the training ground.
But, after being limited to just three appearances since arriving at Sunderland in January, Ustari is keen to play first-team football and that is something Poyet is not able to guarantee, with Player of the Year Vito Mannone holding down the number one spot.
Reports in Italy last week suggested Lazio were tracking Ustari, while Southampton have now been credited with an interest in the 27-year-old too.