Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news RECAP: New signing discusses move plus Cats duo to miss Hull City and Aston Villa fixtures

Sunderland are less than two weeks away from their first competitive match for nearly six months, with the Black Cats set to face Hull City in the Carabao Cup on Saturday, September 5.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 6:00 pm

Phil Parkinson’s side stepped up their preparations with a 3-1 friendly win at Gateshead over the weekend and have two more warm-up games scheduled for this week.

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We’ve have all the latest news, transfer talk and analysis throughout the day – scroll down to see how it all unfolded:

Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson.

Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news RECAP: August 24

Last updated: Monday, 24 August, 2020, 17:09

  • There are less than two weeks to go until the start of Sunderland’s 2020/21 campaign.
  • The Black Cats beat Gateshead 3-1 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday after goals from Chris Maguire, Will Grigg and Josh Scowen.
  • Sunderland are still looking to make ‘at least’ two more signings this summer following the arrivals of Remi Matthews and Morgan Feeney last week.
  • The club have held talks with former frontman Danny Graham while Kosovan defender Arbenit Xhemajli is on trial at the Stadium of Light.
  • Sunderland duo Conor McLaughlin and Tom Flanagan have been called up for Northern Ireland’s Nations League matches next month.
  • Striker Benji Kimpioka has offered a fresh update on his future.

Welcome to the start of another week as we edge ever closer to the Black Cats’ first game for nearly six months.

Phil Parkinson’s side played their first pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday when they beat Gateshead 3-1 at the international Stadium.

We’ll have more reaction and analysis from the match throughout the day as well as the latest news and transfer talk from the Stadium of Light.

Stick around for live updates.

The major storylines to emerge from Gateshead win

Sunderland’s win at Gateshead was littered with storylines - from Will Grigg’s impressive cameo to the return of Grant Leadbitter, writes Mark Donnelly.

But not all of the storylines to emerge from the International Stadium were positive, with some players having work to do before September 12.

We take a look at the key tales that emerged from the 3-1 win and the main beneficiaries of the friendly:

See which SAFC player had a good or bad day HERE

Parkinson on takeover talk

Following the game at the International Stadium, Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson was asked about the recent takeover speculation.

It was reported in July that owner Stewart Donald had entered a period of exclusivity with a potential buyer.

Energy-drink businessman William Storey, who is not believed to be seen as a credible buyer by the club, has also been a vocal presence on social media in recent weeks.

"I can't remember being at a club where there is no takeover talk,” said Parkinson.

“That's just modern football and being a football manager in the modern game. I don't listen to it too much.

“If there's anything I need to know, Stewart Donald will ring me up,” he added.

“He's kept me informed of things along the way, I speak to him regularly and if there's anything I need to know he tells me."

Parkinson said after Saturday’s game that Sunderland are still looking to make ‘at least’ two more signings this summer.

The Black Cats are still in the market for another striker and manager and have held talks with former frontman Danny Graham who is a free agent after leaving Blackburn.

Sunderland are also assessing Kosovan defender Arbenit Xhemajli, who is on trial at the club and played during Saturday’s 3-1 friendly win over Gateshead.

“Arbenit is a good player,” said Parkinson after the match. “One of the factors in the salary cap issue is that it does become a numbers game.

“You can only have 22 players over the age of 21 and so we have to be really careful and ensure anyone who comes in is ready to make a contribution.

“He did well today.”

Mitchell on trial at Blackpool

Another player who has been considered is former Manchester United defender Demetri Mitchell, who is a free agent after being released by the Red Devils.

The 23-year-old was on trial at the Academy of Light earlier this month but the introduction of League One salary caps could scupper his chances of earning a contract.

Championship club Luton have also been linked with the left-back, while Sunderland’s League One rivals Blackpool are interested in the player.

Mitchell featured in the second half of the Tangerines’ 3-3 draw with Premier League side Everton on Saturday, and will get another run out when the Seasiders face Blackburn on Tuesday.

Hull date confirmed

The date for Sunderland’s opening match of the 2020/21 season has been confirmed.

The Black Cats will host Hull City in the opening round of the Carabao Cup on Saturday, September 5 (3pm kick-off), a week before the start of their League One campaign.

There were some suggestions the first-round Carabao Cup fixtures could be brought forward due to international matches which will take place on the same weekend.

Sunderland have two more pre-season friendlies confirmed for this week and will now face League Two outfit Carlisle United at the Academy of Light on Tuesday.

The Wearsiders will also play a warm-up match against Harrogate Town next Saturday before their meeting with Hull.

We caught-up with Aiden O’Brien after his Sunderland debut...

On the agenda were his first game in five months, his favoured position and goalscoring targets…

Phil Parkinson has been full of praise for Will Grigg!

I'm pleased, [with Will’s performance] obviously. All Will could do was come back in the shape that he has done. He's fitter than he's been for a very long time.

Phil Parkinson

SAFC duo to miss cup fixtures

Sunderland duo Conor McLaughlin and Tom Flanagan have been called up for Northern Ireland’s Nations League matches next month.

They are set to miss the Black Cats’ Carabao Cup game against Hull and EFF Cup tie with Aston Villa.

Matthews on Sunderland switch

Sunderland completed their fourth signing of the summer on Friday as former Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews joined the club.

The 26-year-old was unable to feature at Gateshead as the club were still waiting on results from his coronavirus test.

Speaking to the club’s website, Matthews said:

“Everybody knows how big this club is and I’ve worked with the manager and the backroom staff before, so nobody had to sell it to me – it was a no-brainer. I’m delighted to get the deal over the line and I’m excited to get going.”

Manager Phil Parkinson added: “This is a big signing for us because we have been trying to sign a goalkeeper and that process became very complicated due to the salary cap situation. Remi is a player with good experience but at 26, he’s at a good age with plenty of improvement in him as well.”

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