Sunderland transfer target linked with China switch

Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa is prepared to leave the club with interest mounting from China.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:37 pm
Leicester's Leonardo Ulloa battles againsrt Sunderland's John O'Shea. Picture by Frank Reid

The 30-year-old – who has been linked with a January move to Sunderland – has been forced to accept a bit-part role and is desperate for more playing time.

The Foxes would like to keep their former record signing but understand if Ulloa is unhappy at the King Power Stadium they would consider selling him in January.

It is understood that there is interest in Ulloa from China which would change the dynamic of any transfer chase, with Super League clubs able to offer huge fees and wages.

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Shandong Luneng pay Graziano Pelle a reported £13.6million per year after signing him from Southampton for £12million in the summer.

Swansea had a bid rejected for Ulloa in the summer and Sunderland were interested, while West Brom are also monitoring the situation. Ulloa also has options in Spain.

The £8million buy from Brighton in 2014 is eager to remain match-fit for any January move and is open to all options but believes he has proved himself in the Premier League.

He said: “I want to play always. If I don’t have minutes here I need to look for another team. It is difficult for me, the decision.

“I am waiting for the window and waiting for the team and waiting for the manager. I want to speak to him and after we’ll make a decision for the club, for the team and for me also.

“I have a contract here and I need to think a lot about my situation and after that we need to make the decision together.”

Ulloa, who has 19 goals in 85 games for Leicester – just 42 of them starts. He has not started this season, making 13 sub appearances, after scoring six goals in 33 games last term.