SUNDERLAND have been linked with an interest in Fulham’s Costa Rican striker Bryan Ruiz.
Ruiz’s match-winning goal against Italy on Friday confirmed England’s early World Cup exit.
That strike was a moment of sheer joy for the 28-year-old after a disappointing campaign at club level.
Bought by Fulham from Dutch club Twente for £10.6m in the summer of 2011, he scored only eight Premier League goals in 51 starts (17 sub appearances) for the Cottagers.
In January, he suffered the ignominy of being loaned out to PSV Eindhoven, where he scored five goals in 13 starts (one sub appearance).
Now, the 65-time capped Costa Rican appears to be determined to leave the London club, who were relegated to the Championship last season.
Arsenal and Sunderland have been credited with interest by the Sunday papers.
Ruiz, who wants to stay in the English game, said: “I want to show the English what I am and that what happened at Fulham is not real.”
Relegated Fulham will accept considerably less than the big fee they paid for him but are watching the World Cup closely knowing that a good finals for the striker, who has hit 14 international goals since making his debut in 2005, could see his value increase markedly.