SUNDERLAND have been linked with the signing of two wingers – one a full international, the other an emerging lower league prospect.
Fenerbahce winger Milos Krasic – formerly of Juventus – is eyeing a move to the Premier League with Sunderland rumoured to be interested.
Bournemouth wide-man Matt Ritchie – voted League Two and League One Player of the Year in the past two seasons – has also been suggested as someone on the Black Cats’ radar.
Krasic joined the Turkish outfit last season, leaving Serie A side Juventus in a near £7m move.
But the 28-year-old Serbian international has grown unsettled after not featuring as much as he would have hoped.
And he appears to be looking for a way out after scoring just once in 27 league appearances.
Various media have reported the comments of Krasic’s agent Dejan Jokismovic, who said: “Milos needs to play and he’s not getting that chance at Fenerbahce.
“Krasic has had offers from the Premier League and we will be considering a move.
“Milos and his wife are happy in Istanbul, however he also needs to be happy at work. He’s on high wages at Fenerbahce and still has three years on his contract.
“He hasn’t played a full 90 minutes once and he’s a great player. There are only three or four players on his level in his preferred position.”
The link with Sunderland is likely to stem from Di Canio’s knowledge of a player who scored eight goals in 40 appearances for Juventus.
But if Sunderland are interested, wages could be a sticking point because the Black Cats are looking to drive wages down to comply with financial fair play regulations.
Krasic was genuinely impressive at Juventus but has underwhelmed in Turkish football. He is, though, a versatile player and can play on either flank.
Ritchie is an out-and-out right-winger. The 23-year-old was with Di Canio at Swindon before being controversially sold against the Italian coach’s wishes.
The Cherries took advantage of Swindon’s financial difficulties to sign the winger in January of this year and they will want to keep hold of the player after winning promotion to the Championship this year.
Ritchie is contracted to the club until 2016 and so the club have him locked down. But Sunderland would be able to offer the south coast side a fee they would find difficult to turn down.
There has been no confirmation of Sunderland’s interest from either club. But once again Ritchie fits the template of player the Black Cats are looking for this summer – young, gifted, not too expensive to sign, and with the scope to be moulded and improved by Di Canio.