Doubts grow over Chris Martin deal as Sunderland monitor Manchester City man

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Sunderland’s search for new firepower continues with doubts growing over a potential deal for Chris Martin.

The Black Cats agreed the terms of a loan switch last Thursday night, but the Derby County and Scotland striker stalled on the move and has since headed to Dubai with the Rams for warm weather training.

He is due back with the squad to decide on his future at the end of the week.

Sunderland have until Monday lunchtime to register new players in time for Tuesday’s crucial Championship trip to Birmingham.

The Black Cats will speak to 29-year-old Martin on his return, but there are clear doubts about his commitment to the move.

Reading have confirmed their interest in the player, with Wolves also thought to be keen.

And the Echo understands that Fulham have now made a move for Martin and are believed to be confident of bringing the player back to Craven Cottage after his loan spell there last season.

Sunderland will continue to pursue other targets and will monitor the fitness of Manchester City prodigy Lukas Nmecha.

The 19-year-old recently picked up an injury that initially looked set to rule him out for a month.

There are now tentative hopes that the problem may not be as severe and that a loan switch, while still unlikely, could be possible.

Nmecha has been prolific for City’s Elite Development Squad and scored in their last game, a 3-2 win over Liverpool

Sunderland remain in talks with Wolves over a possible deal with Ben Marshall.

The Molineux side retain hope of offloading the 26-year-old permanently and that could price the Black Cats out of contention.

However, Marshall’s other suitors have not come forward with a significant bid, so Sunderland could yet reach a compromise before the window shuts next week.