Sunderland AFC news round-up: Defender linked, David Moyes' future in the spotlight, skipper set to face Watford
Sunderland boss David Moyes looks set to be able to call upon skipper John O'Shea for this weekend's huge clash with Watford.
The centre-back was left needing stitches in his leg after a controversial challenge from Gareth Bale in the game against Wales, though he did complete the goalless draw.
O'Shea did not play for the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night as expected, but is reportedly running again and ready to take his place at Vicarage Road.
His availability will come as a huge relief to Moyes, with Lamine Kone also recovering from a knee injury picked up in training before the 0-0 draw with Burnley.
Both will be expected to compete with Jason Denayer for the centre-half berths at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon with Sunderland seven points adrift of safety.
Follow our live SAFC blog here:Black Cats linked with left-back:
Sunderland have been linked with a surprise summer move for Bologna left-back Adam Masina.
A move would seem unlikely given Sunderland only signed Bryan Oviedo in the January transfer window to replace Patrick van Aanholt.
Oviedo, who has made five appearances for the club since arriving on Wearside, joined on a deal which runs until the summer of 2020.
A summer of transfer upheaval is likely regardless of which division Sunderland are in next season but a new left-back is likely to be low on the list of priorities.
Despite that, the Italian press are reporting the Black Cats have identified 23-year-old Masina as a summer target.
Masina is out of contract in 2019.
David Moyes will be in charge even if Sunderland are relegated:
Moyes' Sunderland future has been one of the big talking points of the international break with some fans questioning the long-term direction of the club.
Within the club, however, there have been no indications of any changes anytime soon with Moyes retaining the full support of owner Ellis Short and chief executive Martin Bain.
There is recognition that injuries have blighted the campaign, and that long-term financial mistakes in the transfer market have left him with an unbalanced and ill-equipped squad.
Read our analysis of the situation here: