Sunderland hoping for double transfer breakthrough including exciting potential Everton striker deal

Sunderland's transfer business looked to take a significant step forward on Tuesday as the Black Cats closed in on two deals.
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Portsmouth goalkeeper Alex Bass is set to arrive as cover and competition for highly-rated youngster Anthony Patterson, who signed a new long-term deal earlier this summer, The Echo understands.

Sunderland are also hopeful that they have won the race to land Everton striker Ellis Simms on loan.

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The 21-year-old had interest from across the Championship but as reported by our sister newspaper the Blackpool Gazette, Simms' preference is to make the short-term switch to Wearside.

Ellis Simms could be arriving to offer welcome competition for Ross StewartEllis Simms could be arriving to offer welcome competition for Ross Stewart
Ellis Simms could be arriving to offer welcome competition for Ross Stewart

Simms had a hugely successful loan at Blackpool in 2021, part of the side that won League One promotion via the play-offs alongside both Dan Ballard and Elliot Embleton.

Injury checked his progress temporarily but a loan move to Hearts in the second half of last season was a successful one, and the Scottish Premiership side themselves harboured aspirations of bringing him back to the club this season.

With Ross Stewart currently the only recognised striker at the club, Simms' arrival would represent a major boost to Alex Neil days before the start of the new campaign.

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After the 1-1 draw with Hartlepool on Monday night he stressed the need to recruit more strength in depth as quickly as possible: "That’s what we’re currently trying to do.

"Naturally, we want to try to add before the weekend, and we hope that one or two of those run their course, and we manage to get them in. But I won’t be spending all my time worrying about that if I can’t affect it.

"My main priority is to get the lads that we’ve currently got onto the training pitch, and get us ready for the first game. If we can get bodies in, then that will naturally help us.

"We’ve got seven games between now and the end of the window, and we certainly don’t want to be giving any teams games head start by being under-strength. That’s something we’re fully aware of."

If completed, Bass and Simms would join Leon Dajaku, Dan Ballard and Aji Alese as the club's summer signings so far.