Cats boss unaware of Killa link

Matt Kilgallon
Matt Kilgallon
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MARTIN O’Neill says claims of interest in Matt Kilgallon from Blackburn Rovers is news to him.

But he says he is more interested in comings rather than goings at the Stadium of Light right now.

Since the end of last season there has been a steady exodus of players with Marcos Angeleri being the latest to leave, the Argentinian defender this week agreeing a two-year deal with former club Estudiantes.

By contrast, only one new player has arrived at the club this summer, 31-year-old former Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar, who arrives on a free transfer.

O’Neill has irons in the fire but Sunderland fans will need to be patient a little longer as he works on prospective deals.

“I genuinely have not heard anything about Matt Kilgallon going to Blackburn. That story is complete news to me!” he said. “At the moment we are looking to bring players in and that’s what we are working on.

“We have targeted a few players and we are in the throes of that at the moment. But as things stand, there’s nothing new to report in that direction.”

Angeleri yesterday completed a return to former club Estudiantes.

The 29-year-old had spent a month during the summer training with Estudiantes after shaking off the knee injury which had marred his time at the Stadium of Light.

He did enough to convince Estudiantes to offer him a deal, with Sunderland writing off the final year of his Black Cats contract.

Fellow Argentine outfits San Lorenzo and Independiente had also been intested in signing Angeleri, but he insists the lure of returning to his former employers proved too strong.

“I have come back to Argentina for good,” he said. “Estudiantes is like my second home.

“I had been in touch with Independiente and San Lorenzo, but I gave my word to Estudiantes.

“It was always my intention to return to Argentina and hopefully Estudiantes.

“I hope to be able to win a place in the team and fight for important titles like we were doing in 2009.”

Former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce paid £1.5million to bring Angeleri to the Stadium of Light in the summer of 2010.

But Angeleri almost immediately aggravated a long-standing knee injury and looked alarmingly short of the form which saw him capped by Argentina.

He made just three appearances in his maiden season – his only start coming in the FA Cup third round defeat to Notts County – before undergoing two knee operations last summer.

Estudiantes were unwilling to take Angeleri back until he had recovered, with the defender finally returning to training at the end of last season.

Angeleri’s departure represents Sunderland’s latest success in offloading their dead wood, with Cristian Riveros, George McCartney and Asamoah Gyan also leaving the club this summer.