Sunderland AFC transfer news: Cats interest in Sheffield Wednesday defender, Aberdeen midfielder linked

Sheffield Wednesday defender Tom Lees.
Sheffield Wednesday defender Tom Lees.
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Simon Grayson is looking to make early inroads into the transfer market as he prepares for Sunderland's Championship campaign.

The Black Cats are among a number of clubs said to be interested in Sheffield Wednesday defender Tom Lees, although the £5million price tag could prove a stumbling block.

Lees is reported to be keen on a fresh challenge but interest in him is fierce with Middlesbrough, Hull City, Derby County, Huddersfield and Burnley all said to have registered their interest in signing him this summer.

Premier League Burnley need to replace Michael Keane, who is set to leave for Everton in the coming days.

Central defence will be an area Grayson looks to bolster.

John O'Shea has signed a new 12-month deal but the futures of Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji remain up in the air and Jason Denayer has returned to Manchester City following his loan spell.

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Meanwhile, Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean continues to be the centre of intense transfer talk north of the border.

McLean was first linked with a move to Sunderland when the club was pursuing Derek McInnes as boss but the Dons boss rejected the chance to take charge at the Stadium of Light.

McInnes wants to retain the services of McLean at Aberdeen but several clubs in England are understood to be monitoring his situation.

Birmingham and QPR are monitoring his situation, while Rangers are also understood to be keeping tabs on the situation.

McInnes said: "It’s very important that we do all we can, keeping players who have done well for me happy - that’s as good a message as bringing in new signings.

"I’d love to speak to Kenny and one or two others now, going into the last year of their contracts.

"But while they’re here and under contract we’ll try to get full value from them, as we did with the boys who have left."

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