Sunderland AFC news: Allardyce plots first signing, Man United eye Cats star, Sam wants England job

James Tomkins and Kevin Nolan
James Tomkins and Kevin Nolan
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Sam Allardyce’s arrival at Sunderland has seen the club back in the headlines as the new boss begins work today.

Allardyce was appointed as Sunderland’s new manager on Friday, and immediately started work on saving the Black Cats from relegation.

He has already been linked with a number of signings once the transfer window reopens, with James Tomkins at the top of his wish-list, according to the Daily Star.

Allardyce is keen to sort out Sunderland’s leaky defence, and Tomkins – who he worked with at West Ham – is a favourite of his.

Allardyce said: “From a distance, I feel like I can sort out the defence and I think there’s enough there to score a few goals.”

Former Newcastle United star Kevin Nolan has also been linked with a reunion with his old mentor.

As well as looking at bolstering his squad, Big Sam has five major challenges to address in his first week as Sunderland boss. Read what they are here.

Allardyce, meanwhile, is releasing his autobiography this month, and the first extracts released today in The Sun, see him reveal he still wants to be England manager.

The ex-Newcastle boss believes he should have been given the role in 2006 when Sven-Goran Eriksson stepped down, only to be beaten to the position by Steve McClaren.

Allardyce said: “Being a national team boss intrigues me.

“I’m ambitious and I still want the England job but I have less chance now even though I’m better equipped to do it.”

Elsewhere, Manchester United have been linked with Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Red Devils are believed to keeping tabs on the highly-rated youngster, who is starring on loan for Preston.

And on the international front, Steven Fletcher bagged a hat-trick for Scotland in their thumping 6-0 win over Gibraltar yesterday, though there was less joy for John O’Shea as he was sent off in Republic of Ireland’s heartbreaking defeat against Poland, and now misses the first leg of their Euro 16 play-off.