Sunderland AFC transfer rumours: Cats 'enquire' about Premier League defender as Lee Johnson seeks new signings
Sunderland have enquired about the availability of Brighton & Hove Albion full-back Alex Cochrane – according to reports.
Lee Johnson is in the market for new additions this window and has already added Forest Green Rovers midfielder Carl Winchester to his ranks.
But with the League One salary cap now fully in play, the Black Cats may have to focus on players aged 21 or under – who are exempt from the spending limit.
Cochrane, aged 20, could therefore fit the bill and Football Insider claim that Sunderland have enquired about completing a permanent or loan move for the full-back this month.
The youngster is on loan at Union SG but could be recalled if a deal is struck with the Wearsiders. He has played six times for the Belgian second tier side and has started their last five games.
Cochrane, who can also play as a left-sided midfielder, has six months to run on his contract at Brighton and so could be allowed to leave for a cut-price fee this month.
He has played twice for the Seagulls at senior level and has also been capped by England up to under-20 level.
Speaking last week, Johnson said that Sunderland identified some Premier League youngsters who could prove of interest this month.
"We've got a couple of irons in the fire in terms of U21 talents from Premier League clubs," he said.
"They become options to us and then if not, we work with what we've got.I think as a coach and a manager you want to know what you can and can't do, and then you just get on with it.”