EGYPTIAN winger Mohamed Salah is expected to remain at Chelsea this month, despite being heavily linked with a loan move to Sunderland.
Salah was a name who cropped up on Sunderland’s radar during the summer and the £11million wideman has again been mooted as an option to the Black Cats’ goal-scoring problems in this transfer window.
But the Echo understands that there have been no fresh talks this month with Sunderland over a loan move for the 22-year-old, who joined Chelsea 12 months ago.
And sources close to the player have indicated that, despite interest from the Premier League, along with Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan, Salah is likely to still be at Stamford Bridge when the window shuts, with Chelsea fighting on four fronts for silverware.
However, as reported earlier this week, Gus Poyet does envisage signing a player on loan from one of Sunderland’s Premier League rivals, with one of the two domestic loans still available to the Black Cats after the summer signing of Liverpool’s Sebastian Coates.
Sunderland will be patient, though, and are likely to wait until closer to the end of the window to see which players are available on loan from the Premier League’s heavyweights.
A solution to Sunderland’s goalscoring problems will be the priority, with the Black Cats netting just 18 goals in 20 top flight outings so far this season.
There has been speculation in France that Marseille frontman André-Pierre Gignac could be one name on Sunderland’s radar to fill that void, with his contract with the league leaders expiring in the summer.
But sources close to Marseille have indicated that the 29-year-old, who has also been tracked by Galatasaray, Dynamo Kiev, Inter and AC Milan, will leave the club on a Bosman at the end of the season, rather than moving this month.
The focus on attacking recruits will almost certainly postpone any move for Celtic centre-half Virgil van Dijk until the summer.
Sunderland were eager to land van Dijk at the start of the season and continue to keep tabs on him, with chief scout Steve Houston watching Celtic’s 2-0 win at Kilmarnock on Monday night.
But head coach Poyet has already indicated that Sunderland are likely to wait until the summer to move for a new defender.
Sunderland are not willing to match Celtic’s £8m price tag this month either, with the SPL champions, likewise, not expecting a bid from the Black Cats.
Meanwhile, Wigan boss Malky Mackay has confirmed he is in the market for a new striker, amid speculation that Danny Graham could join the Championship outfit on loan.
Graham returned to the Stadium of Light last week after the end of a loan spell at Wolves.
But Graham worked under Mackay at former club Watford, and the Championship’s second-bottom team are eager for fresh blood.
“It’s a market the whole world is looking at right now, but, yes, we are actively looking in that department,” said Mackay, when asked about a new striker.