Sunderland round-up: Cats third favourites to sign Joey Barton, Peter Crouch link, Shearer has his say

Joey Barton
Joey Barton
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Sunderland have been linked with a move for former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton and ex-England striker Peter Crouch.

According to reports, SkyBet have slashed the odds on Barton moving to Sunderland, making them 11/2 third favourites in the race to sign the midfielder.

The controversial star has had a chequered past, and was released by Rangers after falling out with manager Mark Warburton.

The chances of Barton turning up at the Stadium of Light would appear fanciful, however, given his association with rivals Newcastle and comments he’s made about Sunderland in the past.

SkyBet still list Burnley as favourites to sing Barton at 1/3, whilst Derby County are second in the running at 7/2.

Another former England international linked with Sunderland is striker Crouch.

The 35-year-old is out of favour at Stoke City. Here’s the latest on the Sunderland link.

Elsewhere, Jordan Pickford insists he can get better despite his great form for the Black Cats.

The young goalkeeper told the Echo: “If you keep putting me in the net, I will keep getting better and better and I keep believing in myself that I will get better.

“I like added competition, it drives me to be even better and I am a winner at the end of the day.

“I just have to keep working hard.”

And Alan Shearer has had his say on Sunderland’s revival, pinpointing three players as making the difference for the side. Read who they are here.