Sunderland AFC transfer news: Italian giants track Cats defender, January priorities, Alan Shearer speaks out

Seb Coates in action for Sunderland last season.
Seb Coates in action for Sunderland last season.
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Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates could spark a January bidding war.

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Italian giants AC Milan have been linked with a shock swoop for centre-back Coates, who is also wanted by Sporting Lisbon where he is currently on loan.

Reports in Italy claim the Serie A side have identified Coates as a possible January transfer target as they look to bolster their defensive ranks.

The 26-year-old is on loan from the Black Cats to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, where he has made 10 league appearances this season.

Coates made just 31 appearances for Sunderland after joining from Liverpool, initially on a season-long loan and then in a permanent £2million deal.

Meanwhile, the January transfer window is just around the corner, with clubs up and down the land looking to strengthen their squads.

And we want to know from Sunderland supporters which areas of the team should be the priority when it comes to January recruits?

Take part in our poll here and we'll publish the full results next week.
And finally, Alan Shearer has predicted that Sunderland and Newcastle United will swap divisions at the end of this season.
Newcastle sit five points clear at the top of the Championship with 17 games played, while Sunderland remain three points adrift of safety despite their most recent wins.

Match of the Day pundit Shearer is not expecting things to change over the coming months.

Shearer said: "I think Sunderland will struggle.

"They’ll do well to get out of the position that they’re in, and I do think that Newcastle might just swap places with them, which is a shame because for players and fans, they’re great games, they’re great occasions, but I fear for Sunderland."

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