Sunderland AFC transfer news: Former £10m-rated 'target' joins Joey Barton at Bristol Rovers in League One

Sunderland were once quoted an asking price of £10 million for John Marquis – but now the striker has moved to Bristol Rovers.

Marquis was one of a host of players considered by the Black Cats as they looked to replace top scorer Josh Maja after his move to Bordeaux.

But Sunderland’s move for Marquis hit a stumbling block when they were quoted an asking price of £10 million by Doncaster Rovers for the striker. That was according to Sunderland’s former chairman Stewart Donald at the time.

The ace ended up moving to Portsmouth but was deemed surplus to requirements at Fratton Park and left the club at the end of his deal this summer

John Marquis of Portsmouth in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Portsmouth and Northampton Town at Fratton Park on October 27, 2020.

The 30-year-old former Millwall striker has netted 36 goals in 121 appearances across all competitions for Portsmouth since joining the club in 2019 but spent the second half of last season on loan at Lincoln City.

Speaking after the move to Rovers, Marquis said: "I'm very excited, I'm looking forward to starting a new challenge with Rovers. After speaking to the manager and coming down to The Quarters, I knew that this would be the perfect place to play my football for the next couple of years."

Rovers manager Joey Barton added: "We are excited to be able to announce that John Marquis has signed for Bristol Rovers. John is a player I’ve admired for some time. He is a real coup for us, a proven goal scorer at League One level and a great addition.

“After speaking to him over the last few weeks it was clear that, like me, he believes we can continue to improve. Our group will continue to push to get better every day and John will fit in superbly.

“John is keen to get going and will fly out tonight to join up with us in Portugal in what has already been a really solid few days of training."

Marquis was offered to Peterborough United during the January window but Marquis’ former boss and Posh manager at the time, Darren Ferguson, wasn’t keen on a deal even though the club were looking for a striker as they attempted to stay in the Championship.