Diafra Sakho remains at the top of Sunderland’s summer hit-list, with West Ham’s search for a new striker delaying transfer negotiations.
Sunderland saw a bid rejected by the Hammers for Sakho earlier this month, as Sam Allardyce looked to his former club to boost the Black Cats’ attacking ranks.
Since then, Sunderland have been linked with several strikers – Roma’s Edin Dzeko, Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost and yesterday in reports from France, Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis.
But the Echo understands that Sakho is still firmly in Allardyce’s sights as one of Sunderland’s main targets, with the Black Cats expected to make a fresh bid for the 26-year-old.
West Ham are thought to want around £15million for Sakho, but Sunderland have allocated a sizeable chunk of their summer transfer budget to bring in a new frontman and they may have to break their transfer record this summer, as price tags rise with the new television deal.
The bigger issue over Sakho is that West Ham want to bring in a new frontman before allowing the Senegal international to depart, which is forcing Sunderland to be patient.
Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Michy Batshuayi have both been targets for the club, with the latter the subject of a £31m bid from Crystal Palace this week.
But ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium, the Hammers have made no secret of their eagerness to land a big-money striker.
Co-owner David Sullivan said last month: “We know that we need a top striker which is the hardest thing to sign. We need a 20-goal-a-season striker and that will cost us £25m or £30m.”
Meanwhile, speculation in France has suggested that Sunderland have made contact for Swansea’s Gomis, who is expected to leave the Liberty Stadium this summer.
Sunderland were previously linked with Gomis in the January transfer window after the 30-year-old has netted just 13 Premier League goals during his two seasons at Swansea.
However, Marseille are also reported to be interested in Gomis, who has another two years to run on his Swansea contract.