TRANSFER TALK - Sunderland and Newcastle eye defensive target

Gus Poyet

Gus Poyet

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SUNDERLAND and Newcastle are both considering a summer swoop on the French market to boost their defensive ranks, according to reports today.

The North East rivals have been linked with an interest in Nantes centre-half Papy Djilobodji, who has also been watched by the likes of Stoke, Chelsea, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund over recent weeks.

Senegal international Djilobodji is rated in the £5million bracket and has made almost 150 appearances for the French top flight side.

Sunderland will be in the market to boost their defensive options this summer, with Wes Brown and Anthony Reveillere both out of contract, and Sebastian Coates and Santiago Vergini only at the Stadium of Light on loan deals, albeit there is a permanent clause in place for the latter.

Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk is thought to be among Sunderland’s top targets, although the Black Cats could require several fresh additions at the back.

Newcastle are also likely to bring in new defensive reinforcements, with just two centre-halves available at present.