Sunderland cool their interest in Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce as Hearts step up chase

Phil Parkinson has suggested that Sunderland have for now cooled their interest in Liam Boyce.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:50 pm

The Burton Albion striker was a player on his list of targets coming into the January window, and he has since added Kyle Lafferty to his forward line.

Boyce is in the last six months of his deal at the Pirelli Stadium, which is a key part of the reason why the Black Cats believed a deal could be agreed this month.

Nigel Clough revealed on Wednesday that the club have turned down two bids for the striker this month.

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Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce
Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce

Hearts are known to have a strong interest in the 28-year-old, who has been in excellent form of late as the Brewers have surged up the League One table.

Parkinson is at this stage not looking at another striker.

“With Liam, he’s a player I’ve known for a while and we’ve watched recently,” he said.

“With Lafferty coming in, and Charlie and Griggy at the top end of the pitch, to bring another one would I think be one too many.”

The situation could change in the next week, with Parkinson still open to strengthening his squad.

Ideally he would like cover in the full-back positions and another midfield option.

The forward line is somewhere he could yet reshuffle, with the futures of Grigg and Marc McNulty is somewhat uncertain.

Parkinson has said he is not under pressure to offload, but Grigg has not featured since December 14th and was left out of the squad last Saturday.

He has hinted earlier in the window that he would be open to a loan deal, if a club can come up with an attractive offer.

McNulty, meanwhile, has been linked with a move to Hibernian.

That, clearly, could change his stance on Boyce and other targets on his shortlist.

“The chairman hasn’t really spoken to me about players going out, he wants us to concentrate on making sure the squad is strong,” Parkinson said.

“If as the window goes on and someone falls down the pecking order even more and we feel there’s a right move for us and them then we’ll consider it.

“At the moment we want to keep everyone who is here.”