Sunderland hopeful of new signing after Jack Ross switches striker targets
Sunderland still hope to make at least one addition this week despite Lyle Taylor's decision to join Charlton Athletic.
The Black Cats squad returned for pre-season training yesterday and Jack Ross is looking for further additions before flying out for a training camp in Portugal.
They are pursuing a number of deals and are looking for a couple of breakthoughs in the coming days.
Talks have been held regarding moves for Dylan McGeouch and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, while Taylor’s decision means that reinforcements up front are a necessity.
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Having also missed out on Florian Kamberi, with Hibernian activating a clause to make his loan deal permanent, the Black Cats currently only have Josh Maja and Joel Asoro as strikers on their books.
Taylor has opted to stay in the capital despite being offered a deal by Sunderland.
The 28-year-old was available on a free contract after his AFC Wimbledon deal expired and he was being pursued by a number of clubs.
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer spoke of his delight at getting a deal over the line.
He said: “He’s my first signing as a manager and what a signing it is.
“He was our main target in the summer.
“He obviously had interest from other clubs. There was a big club in our division that made him a much better offer and I think it just shows the lad’s attitude to come to us.
“His decision to come was based on football, simple as that, and I think that shows where we are as a club and the stature we’ve got.”
“He’s a top striker in this division,” he added. “He scores goals.
“He’s the all-around striker. He runs in behind, holds the ball up, wins his headers. He’s got everything.
“For him to bring the goals with the chances we are creating, I’m expecting big things from him and I’m sure he is himself.”
Taylor said he was looking forward to the challenge. “I’m really looking forward to getting started and seeing where we can go this year,” he said.
“It’s going to be a challenge, this is a difficult league, but we’re going to do everything we can to get out of it.
“I’ll fight and scrap and do everything I can to get points for the team. My job is to put the ball in the back of the net, but if it means I’ll have to throw my weight around, I will do whatever is necessary.”
Hibs stiker Kamberi said he believed his long-term ambitions were better served by staying in the Scottish Premiership rather than a move to League One.
He said: “It went to the last few days but for me it was clear.
“I spoke to the gaffer before and I knew he was staying so I was pleased to come back and work with him again, the club and my team-mates after this great season.
“I wanted to work with Neil Lennon because he makes me better every day. To be around him and my team-mates and this club makes me happy.
“I asked him if he was going to stay and when he said ‘yes’ I wanted to stay.
“Sunderland didn’t interest me. It was League One. Even if it’s a big club I don’t want to play in a small league.
“I want to play in the first league and I had an opportunity to do that here with Hibs, so it was clear to me that Sunderland was not an option.
“For me it’s not just about money. It’s important to play as much as I can, to win games and be in a good club with a good gaffer.
“At the moment it’s important to give a good performance in a high league to show myself and if I do that then the big money comes later.”