Sunderland AFC transfer news: Cats miss out on £2.5m 'target' as ex-defender makes Switzerland move

Sunderland won their first Championship fixture in 1,553 days against Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.

The Black Cats ran out 3-2 winners at Ashton Gate with debutant Ellis Simms netting a brace alongside a goal for Ross Stewart.

Here, though, we take a look at the latest stories that may interest Sunderland fans:

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Middlesbrough set to conclude striker deal

Matthew Hoppe

Middlesbrough have beaten Sunderland to the signing of Matthew Hoppe – according to reports.

Hoppe came through the ranks at German club Schalke and performed reasonably well before moving onto Real Mallorca.

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The striker has been linked with a move to both Wearside and Teesside throughout the transfer window, with recent reports suggesting Boro have won the race.

Last January, Hoppe netted scored a hat-trick, and his first senior goals for Schalke, in a league match against Hoffenheim, becoming the first American to score a hat-trick in the Bundesliga, with the result ending the club’s 30-game winless streak in the league.

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Transfer insider Graeme Bailey said: “Middlesbrough have held off local rivals Sunderland to finalise deal for American striker Matthew Hoppe. Boro paying Real Mallorca £2.5m for the former Schalke striker.

Chris Wilder lands his second striker of the summer, at least one more wanted/needed but maybe more.”

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Ex-Sunderland defender makes Switzerland switch

Former Sunderland defender Arbinet Xhemajli has joined FC Vaduz in Switzerland. The club competes in the Swiss Challenge League, which is the second-highest tier of the Swiss football league system.

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Xhemajli suffered a major knee ligament issue shortly after his arrival at Sunderland in the summer of 2020, but did manage to play a part in the club’s promotion last season.

Most notably, he produced a tremendous 90-minute display on his league debut against Wigan Athletic, helping his side to a 3-0 win that revived the campaign and delivered Alex Neil his first three points as Sunderland head coach.

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The 24-year-old centre-back has now signed a two-year contract with FC Vaduz until the summer of 2024.

FCV’s sporting director Franz Burgmeier said: “After Yannick Schmid's departure, we definitely wanted to be active again in the position of central defender. With Arbi we gain an experienced defender despite his young age. He will give us additional stability in the defensive network with his robustness and body size."