POTENTIAL Sunderland targets Steven Fletcher and Kevin Davies have both indicated they might stay at their current clubs next season, ruling out possible moves to Wearside.
But, with a long summer ahead, the Black Cats will not be too put off by the noises coming from the camps of two strikers still smarting from their relegations with Wolves and Bolton respectively.
Club captain Davies has suggested he might stay at the Reebok and help Bolton earn an instant promotion back to the Premier League next season.
But with the Lancashire club carrying a huge amount of debt, the Trotters might be keen to offload one of their highest earners, especially as manager Owen Coyle is committed to developing a youthful squad – a plan the 35-year-old would not come into.
Ex-Burnley and Hibs star Fletcher, meanwhile, was said today to have decided he does not fancy a move to Sunderland.
That will please Wolves, who have run a tight ship financially and insist they are under no pressure to sell any of their players in the wake of demotion.
Fletcher and Davies are two players who interest Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill as he looks, as a matter of urgency, to strengthen his strikeforce this summer.
The Black Cats have also been credited with interest in Huddersfield Town’s prolific Scotland international striker Jordan Rhodes, as well as Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
As well as players coming into the club, Sunderland are also looking at players leaving with a retained list set to be announced shortly.
Sunderland will not be taking up options on any of last season’s loan players – Nicklas Bendtner, Sotorios Kyrgiakos and Wayne Bridge – while £9million keeper Craig Gordon is set to leave on a Bosman.
Ahmed Elmohamady has been linked with a possible move to West Ham United and that could happen, but only if the Londoners are promoted via tomorrow’s play-off final against Blackpool.
Elmohamady is insistent privately that he will not play below Premier League level and will see out the remaining two years of his Sunderland contract unless another Premier League club come in for him.