Middlesbrough eye summer swoop for Sunderland duo Duncan Watmore and Lynden Gooch

Middlesbrough are eyeing a summer swoop for attacking Sunderland duo Duncan Watmore and Lynden Gooch, according to fresh reports.
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All football is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic but that hasn’t stopped transfer speculation with Jonathan Woodgate reported to be keeping tabs on the pair.

TEAMtalk claim: “Middlesbrough are considering a double raid on North East rivals Sunderland this summer with Duncan Watmore and Lynden Gooch in their sights, TEAMtalk understands.

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“Forward Watmore is out of contract at the Stadium of Light in the summer and if the Black Cats don’t get promotion, they will be unable to offer him a contract of Championship level, which he is currently on.

Duncan Watmore in action for Sunderland.Duncan Watmore in action for Sunderland.
Duncan Watmore in action for Sunderland.

“Boro also hope that the chance to remain in the area could help them in a bid to land Watmore’s team-mate Gooch, who has two years left on his current deal.”

Earlier this week, Watmore, 26, admitted players remain in the dark over their contractual situation – with the Sunderland forward one of over a dozen players set to set their deals expire on June 30.

With the Black Cats’ season highly unlikely to be concluded by the end of June, it places them – and practically every other club in the footballing pyramid – in a difficult situation regarding player contracts.

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FIFA have established a working group to try and establish a solution, and Watmore feels the mooted solution of automatically extending all deals until when the playing season is over would be a logical compromise.

“In terms of the contract, I think it is an interesting situation,” said Watmore, speaking to the Ornstein & Chapman Podcast.

“I think about half the Sunderland squad are out of contract on June 30 so I don't know how that's going to get resolved.

“I think it might just be a case of FIFA just bumping them along for a couple of months to complete the season, and if that's what happens then I'm sure it'll work well for everyone.

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“But there's so much uncertainty around the whole world at the moment that you can't really be making predictions or planning for things - you've just got to deal with it on a day-by-day basis I suppose.”