LiveSunderland AFC transfer news RECAP: Cats, Ipswich and Portsmouth linked with striker as Peterborough suffer promotion blow

Sunderland are stepping up their preparations for this weekend’s trip to Bristol Rovers – with the race for promotion from League One hotting up.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:40 pm

Despite last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Lincoln, the Black Cats have won eight of their last 10 matches in the third tier and will be hoping to keep up their momentum when they travel to the Memorial Stadium.

Sunderland’s automatic promotion hopes were also boosted last night after Peterborough were beaten 3-1 at Blackpool.

The result leaves the Black Cats two points off the automatic promotion places with a game in hand.

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Sunderland boss Lee Johnson.
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson.

On the injury front, Lee Johnson will be hoping to welcome back some of his first-team players this week, with left-back Denver Hume closing in on a return.

As we approach the summer, transfer talk has also started to increase and reports have linked St Johnstone striker Guy Melamed with a handful of League One clubs.

Sunderland AFC transfer news: RECAP (March 24)

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2021, 14:41

  • Sunderland are one of several clubs who have been credited with an interest in St Johnstone striker Guy Melamed.
  • The Black Cats are now preparing for Saturday’s trip to Bristol Rovers.
  • Sunderland’s promotion rivals Peterorough were beaten 3-1 at Blackpool last night.
  • The EFL has confirmed that it has recorded zero positive Covid-19 tests for the first time.

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We’re signing off for today but have lots more Black Cats news, analysis and more on the SAFC section of the Echo website.

See you soon.

Read this week’s Q&A with our Sunderland writer Phil Smith HERE

Peterborough owner on Sunderland’s contract situation

Darragh MacAnthony says the large number of Sunderland contracts set to expire this summer is ‘ideal’ for new owner Kyril-Louis Dreyfus.

The Peterborough United owner was asked about the issue by a Black Cats supporter on his ‘Hard Truth: Inside the Football Industry’ podcast.

The majority of Sunderland’s current squad see their contracts expire this summer, a source of concern for many fans givens that some of those players are likely to attract interest from elsewhere.

“It’s brilliant for the new owners,” said MacAnthony.

“If I was buying a club tomorrow I wouldn’t want to go in to one where there’s a load of players on two, three-year deals.

“As a new owner my job is tougher when there’s long contracts.

“When I bought Peterborough I knew there’s was X amount of players with a year left and it made things easier.

“The new owners are going to be going for it big time in the summer, it’s ideal in my opinion.”

Blackpool boss on Elliot Embleton’s performances

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has been talking about Sunderland loanee Elliot Embleton following last night’s 3-1 win over Peterborough.

Embleton assisted The Tangerines third goal but was replaced with 12 minutes to go due to cramp.

“He’s been excellent the last two games. He’s brought a calmness to our play and he knits the game together for you well,” said Critchley.

“He’s very good technically, he’s intelligent and he keeps the ball for you which allows you to get up the pitch and control the game.

The EFL has confirmed that it has recorded zero positive Covid-19 tests for the first time.

A total of 5524 players and Club staff from all 72 EFL Clubs were tested as part of last week’s testing programme, with today’s results covering all tests undertaken from Monday 15 to Sunday 21 March.

EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch said: “Today’s results are a testament to the hard work and efforts of all EFL Clubs during what has been a particularly challenging period.

“For 12 months we, like the rest of the society, have been dictated to by this virus. However, the stringent protocols implemented across the board have ensured that we are now able to turn our attention to returning to a certain level of normality.

“Our focus must be on maintaining this low transmission rate and then ensure supporters can return in full as quickly as is safe to do so. Football remains one of the most heavily regulated areas of crowd management, with EFL Clubs already demonstrating they can stage matches safely during a successful pilot programme earlier in the season.”

Getting ready for Bristol Rovers

Latest Dion Sanderson reports

There has been lots of talk surrounding Sunderland defender Dion Sanderson in recent weeks.

The 21-year-old defender is on loan from Wolves, while his impressive performances in recent weeks have seen him linked with the likes of Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

According to the Northern Echo, Sunderland will make another loan deal for Dion Sanderson one of their key priorities if they win promotion to the Championship this season.

The player’s Wolves contract will expire in the summer of 2022.

What the table looks like

Here’s how things stand after last night’s results.

Sunderland’s promotion rivals Peterborough were beaten 3-1 at Blackpool last night.

The Posh remain second in the table, two points ahead of Sunderland, but have now played a game more than Lee Johnson’s side.

Former SAFC midfielder handed key role at Salford City

Former Sunderland midfielder Darron Gibson will assist new Salford boss Gary Bowyer.

Bowyer becomes Salford’s third manager of the season after the Sky Bet League Two club parted company with Richie Wellens on Monday.

Bowyer’s last managerial job was with Bradford, who sacked him in February 2020. The 49-year-old, who previously managed Blackburn and Blackpool, joined Derby in September as coach of their under-23 side.

Salford – who are owned by members of Manchester United’s ‘Class of 92’ including Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and David Beckham – currently sit in ninth place, six points outside the play-off positions.

Read more HERE

Some interesting financial insight

We caught up with sport finance expert Dan Plumley from Sheffield Hallam University to discuss the impacts of playing matches behind closed doors, Sunderland’s advantage over their League One rivals and where Kyril Louis-Dreyfus can invest his money.

Read the full piece HERE

Let’s start with some transfer gossip.

The Black Cats are one of several clubs who have been credited with an interest in St Johnstone striker Guy Melamed.

An Israeli striker, Melamed has been catching the eye for the Scottish side this term and has netted five goals in 15 games since making his debut in November.

And Football Insider claim that Sunderland are one of three clubs eyeing a potential summer move – with Portsmouth and Ipswich Town also rumoured to be interested.

Melamed is out of contract in the summer and the trio may be able to offer a lucrative contract if they are to secure promotion to the Championship.

The 28-year-old has never played in England, and his move to St Johnstone was the first time he had played outside of Israel.

Sunderland are stepping up their preparations for this weekend’s trip to Bristol Rovers - while there is plenty to discuss in and around the Stadium of Light.

We’ll have the latest Black Cats news, analysis transfer talk and more throughout the day.

Stick around and refresh the page for live updates.

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