Sunderland not put off by Wyke setback - but Bolton join race for striker
Sunderland will not be deterred by an injury to Bradford City striker Charlie Wyke, with the 25-year-old expected to miss the start of the League One campaign.
Wyke is one of Jack Ross’ top striking targets after Mo Eisa signed for Bristol City yesterday.
The Black Cats want at least two additions to their forward line, with Josh Maja and Andrew Nelson currently the only options for the Black Cats boss.
Sunderland are also continuing to monitor Sheffield United’s experienced striker Billy Sharp.
Sharp is at this stage not expected to leave Bramall Lane this summer, but that could change should Chris Wilder bolster his forward line as expected in the coming weeks.
Bradford’s Wyke limped out of a pre-season friendly last week and is not thought to be able to return for the early stages of the third tier season.
Sunderland are nevertheless keen to conclude a deal, but face competition from Bolton Wanderers who would be able to offer Championship football.
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson said: “The key area is the top of the pitch. We need more strength.
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“Ken (Anderson) is waiting to hear back from one or two chairmen and we need to make progress in that area.
“At the start of the summer we gave the chairman a list of strikers that we thought were realistic and he asked me which one was at the very top of that list.
“I don’t want to discuss the name – I’m sure it’s documented – but we’re going for that one.”
19-year-old Maja scored his first goals of pre-season in the 6-0 rout of St Mirren and hopes that a second consecutive clean sheet can lay the foundations for the side to kick on.
He said: “In the earlier games I think I struggled and didn’t look as sharp but I got my chances today and I took them.
“On the training pitch we’ve been working hard to get our shape right and the back four especially have the set the mark for us to push forward.”
“We’re creating chances and if we keep those clean sheets it will give us a good chance.