Ex-Sunderland target set for Portsmouth transfer as Bristol City youngster pens new deal ahead of Cats clash

One former Sunderland target could be set for a return to League One - just a year after it was claimed a move to Wearside would be a ‘sideways step’.

By Joe Buck
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 4:45 pm

Here, we round-up all the latest transfer stories that have emerged today from the Stadium of Light and beyond:

Promising youngster extends Ashton Gate stay

Bristol City have been handed a major boost ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Sunderland with the news that Marlee Francois has agreed a new two-year deal, plus an option for an extra year, with the club.

Portsmouth are reportedly interested in signing Blackpool's Owen Dale. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Francois spent some time on-loan with Bath City last season but has been on the fringes of the Robins first-team squad - although he is yet to make an appearance for the senior side.

Francois has targeted breaking into the first-team once he recovers from injury worries that hampered his progress last campaign.

The Robins, who were defeated 2-1 by Hull City in their opening game of the new season on Saturday, have made four signings this summer with the additions of Stefan Bajic, Kal Naismith, Kane Wilson and Mark Sykes.

Pompey ‘eye’ Dale

Portsmouth have shown interest in signing Blackpool winger Owen Dale on-loan.

Dale was heavily-linked with a move to Sunderland last summer whilst at Gresty Road, interest that led to then-Alexandra boss David Artell releasing a statement denying that any bids had been received for the winger.

Last summer, Artell revealed that he believed a move to Sunderland would be a ‘sideways move’ for the winger.

“I have heard that Owen (Dale) has been linked to a few clubs. He is a good player and we will see what happens.” Artell said.

“He has had a good season and has come about because of our investment in his development. He is a great kid and has a great attitude.

“Is he ready to step up a level? I am not sure yet and I honestly think that he has to look at moving up a league because I think that any move to a League One club would be a sideways move.”

Dale was not part of the Blackpool squad that secured victory over Reading at the weekend and could be allowed to leave Bloomfield Road in order to get regular first-team football this season.