Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday set to battle for free agent as Lionel Messi comparisons made

Sunderland are set for a busy summer in the transfer market – as Lee Johnson looks to build a squad capable of winning promotion.

The Black Cats will be bidding to replace the seven first-team players who have already departed over the course of the summer, with the club looking to challenge once again in a competitive division.

Here, we round-up the latest transfer rumours and gossip from the Stadium of Light and beyond:

Sheffield Wednesday enter race for Sunderland-linked Scott Tanser

Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday set to battle for free agentSunderland and Sheffield Wednesday set to battle for free agent
Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday set to battle for free agent
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One area Sunderland are certain to strengthen over the summer months is left-back.

The Black Cats have offered fresh terms to Denver Hume but he is the only senior left-sided full-back set to be on the club’s books – provided he accepts the contract put to him.

And one of the names linked with bolstering that area of the field has been Scott Tanser, who is out of contract with Scottish side St Johnstone this summer.

While talks are ongoing with the McDiarmid Park outfit over an extended stay, Tanser is thought to be in high demand from clubs south of the border.

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Indeed, Football Insider have now claimed that Sheffield Wednesday are keen on a move for the 26-year-old – while Doncaster Rovers and Shrewsbury Town are also thought to be keen.

Ex-Manchester United man draws Aiden McGeady and Lionel Messi comparisons

Along with Hume, Sunderland have also offered fresh terms to Aiden McGeady.

And the winger has earned some high praise from former Manchester United man and Preston North End teammate Ben Pearson – who compared the 35-year-old to Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Speaking to From The Finney, Pearson said: “He probably won us 30 points on his.

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"He’s probably as close to Messi of the Championship as I’ve ever seen.

"When Geads came we started doing one-v-ones in training. I was quite competitive so I used to say to the lads ‘leave him, I’ll take Geads.’

"He’s the only player I’ve come up against that I couldn’t tackle him. I genuinely couldn’t tackle him.

"Honestly, I don’t know any other player who has done that. He’s the only player I’ve come up against and thought one-v-one, I’m in trouble here.”

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