Sunderland linked with Anderlecht frontman, amidst Christian Benteke speculation

Christian Benteke
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Italian international Stefano Okaka could be a solution to Sunderland's striker search, with the Anderlecht frontman a more realistic target than Liverpool's Christian Benteke.

Reports in Belgium today have indicated that Sunderland are interested in powerful centre-forward Okaka, who netted 17 goals in all competitions in his debut season at Anderlecht last year.

Sunderland have scouted the Belgian league extensively over recent months, with Okaka's Belgian team-mate Kara Mbodji among those who was on the radar of ex-Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce.

Anderlecht are thought to be willing to sell Okaka, although they have put a £9million asking price on the head of the 26-year-old.

That is reportedly more than Sunderland are prepared to pay, with the Black Cats valuing the ex-Sampdoria and Roma striker around the £5m mark.

However, Okaka is a far more feasible target than Liverpool's Benteke, despite reports today that Sunderland have joined Everton and Crystal Palace in the race for the Belgian international.

Liverpool want £30m for Benteke - who is on a £120,000 a week salary at Anfield - with Sunderland boss David Moyes confirming earlier this week that those sort of fees were beyond the club's budgets, amidst links with Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini.