Sunderland target set to be loaned out by Liverpool next month: Can the Black Cats land him?

Sunderland's January transfer plans could be boosted after sources in Liverpool suggested that Jurgen Klopp is ready to loan out Welsh prodigy Ben Woodburn.

Thursday, 21st December 2017, 10:18 am
Updated Thursday, 21st December 2017, 10:30 am
Woodburn in action at the Stadium of Light

Coleman identified Woodburn and fellow Welsh team-mate Danny Ward as two of his primary January targets following his arrival on Wearside.

The former Wales boss has a strong relationship with the former and sparked an angry response from Klopp when giving him his first international call-up earlier this year. After a debut goal against Austria, however, Klopp joked that he had began calling Woodburn 'The Prince of Wales'.

Ward will not be loaned out with Klopp keen to keep him at Anfield for the rest of the season.

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After a breakthrough year with Huddersfield, he has been third choice behind Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.

Woodburn made 9 senior appearances for the Reds last season but so far in 2017/18 has featured in just one EFL Cup clash with Leicester City. He has starred in the youth sides nevertheless, scoring a fine long-range goal in an U23 win at the Stadium of Light recently.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the club now believe it is time for him to play regular first team football and that could open the door for a Championship switch.

Leeds have also been credited with an interest in the 18-year-old.

Offering the youngster regular opportunities will be crucial, a situation complicated by the fact that Sunderland already have four loanees on their books. EFL rules mean that only five can be named in any one matchday squad.

Last month Coleman strongly suggested he would be happy to have more than five and then make his selection decisions accordingly, something he said the club would have to be 'honest' about in negotiations.

He said: "It’s needs must, for us.

“If we can get someone in on loan, we can get something out of them between now and the end of the season.

“We have to be brutally honest with other clubs if we are taking their players on loan, as far as what is happening here.

“But we don’t want to be bringing in players for the sake of it, not using them but just adding to the squad.

"We only want to bring in players who are going to make us better.

“We have to do our homework on the individuals that we bring in, and we have to get it right.

One loan slot, of course, could be freed up should Bournemouth decide to recall Lewis Grabban.

The Cherries could capitalise on Championship interest in the striker by moving him on permanently next month. They have only a short window to do so, however, giving the Black Cats time to source a replacement before the market shuts.

Coleman wants attacking additions regardless of Grabban's future.