Sunderland 'open' to defender exit with Kristjaan Speakman 'unlikely' to command a fee
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Sunderland defender Danny Batth has been linked with a surprise move to Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers with fresh reports stating the Black Cats would be "open" to the move.
The 32-year-old played a crucial part in Sunderland's promotion from League One, then cementing himself as one of Tony Mowbray's most important players as the Black Cats finished sixth in the Championship last season.
However, Alan Nixon of The Sun on Sunday has claimed that the former Stoke City and Wolves defender could be the subject of transfer interest from Mowbray's old club Blackburn Rovers.
Lancs Live also add: "Batth’s name came on the radar two weeks ago, and the defender would fit the bill having amassed 300 Championship appearances across his career.
"While nothing has progressed since, it is understood that the Black Cats would be open to a deal should Rovers want to press ahead with a move."
The publication adds that Sunderland are unlikely to command a fee for Batth under sporting director Kristjaan Speakman, which would otherwise be a barrier to a deal. Rovers missed out on the play-offs last campaign under the stewardship of one-time Newcastle United player Jon Dahl Tomasson.
Sunderland have just allowed Bailey Wright to exit the club. However, the Black Cats have added central defenders Nectar Triantis and Jenson Seelt to their ranks so far during the summer transfer window as Kristjaan Speakman looks to add depth to Sunderland's squad.
Batth made 40 appearances for Sunderland in the Championship last year and won the fans’ Player of the Year award.