Pogrebnyak agent admits Sunderland enquiry

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PAVEL POGREBNYAK’S agent admits Sunderland’s interest in the Russian striker has not gone beyond the enquiry stage.

Sunderland are one of several clubs monitoring the Stuttgart hitman, who is expected to leave the Bundesliga outfit this summer.

But, despite reports in Germany, no move is imminent and Pogrebnyak’s agent Oleg Artemov confirmed Sunderland’s interest has been limited to a preliminary enquiry.

“They (Sunderland) are one of the clubs who approached us concerning Pavel,” Artemov said.

“Besides them, there are some other teams from England and Germany who contact me from time to time, testing the waters for possible cooperation.

“So we just call each other and talk. Nothing of that went as far as some negotiations between the clubs.

“Pogrebnyak has proved in Germany that he is a skilled football player.

“It would be interesting for me to watch him play in the English league, but it’s up to the player.

“One thing I can tell you for sure is that Pavel will not be without a decent team.”

Pogrebnyak is one of the top earners at Stuttgart yet has enjoyed a mixed time in the Bundesliga since a £5million move from Zenit St Petersburg two years ago.

Stuttgart are prepared to let the 27-year-old leave the club now, rather than allow him to move on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer.

Artemov said: “Nothing has changed. Pavel has one more year left on his contract. Usually in this case the club would begin talks about a renewal or a sale, but Stuttgart keep silent.

“I can imagine a situation where Pavel sticks with Stuttgart until the end of his contract and moves to another team as a free agent. Any option is possible.”

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has already boosted his striking options this summer with the acquisition of £8million teenager Connor Wickham from Ipswich and South Korean international Ji Dong-won.

But Bruce would ideally like another forward at his disposal with Asamoah Gyan the club’s only frontman proven in the top flight.

Bruce will attempt to land Danny Welbeck on another season-long loan from Manchester United before the transfer window shuts at the end of August.

But Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to keep hold of Welbeck and Bruce may have to look at other targets.

Meanwhile, reports today suggest Sunderland hitman Jordan Cook is set to sign a one-year contract extension with the Black Cats.