Sunderland to complete January transfer window deal ‘within hours’

Sunderland transfer news and rumours round-up during the January window

Sunderland are now entering the final days of the January transfer window and look set to pick up the pace with a number of fresh faces looking increasingly likely to arrive on Wearside. The Black Cats confirmed their first signing of the month on Monday with Pierre Ekwah joining from West Ham.

The 21-year-old is welcomed by fellow Hammers acadamy product Aji Alese and also becomes Sunderland’s third French midfielder alongside Abdoullah Ba and Edouard Michut. The trio all arrived at the club among a number of youngsters in the summer.

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Lille starlet ‘set’ for Sunderland

Sunderland’s second signing of the transfer window is set to be confirmed imminently, according to La Voix Du Nord. The French outlet reported a deal for Isaac Lihadji would be completed ‘within hours’ last night.

The Black Cats were first linked with the French winger last week and they now looked to have secured his signature ahead of his contract expiry at the end of the season. However, despite Lihadji still having six months left on his deal, it has been reported that Sunderland won’t pay a penny for his transfer.

Having previously played for Marseille under Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ family, Lihadji joined Lille in 2020 and was considered to be one of the most exciting young players in French football after starting at the U17 World Cup. Despite previously being linked with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United, the 20-year-old has struggled for regular football in France and is now eager to join the ‘project’ at the Stadium of Light.

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Championship striker to ‘join’ Villarreal

One of the Championship’s best strikers is set for a move to Spain in the summer. As per Mail Online, Ben Brereton Diaz will run down his contract at Blackburn Rovers to join Villarreal for free at the end of the season.

After netting 22 league goals last season, as well as three in seven World Cup qualifiers for Chile, Brereton Diaz had attracted interest from across Europe as he entered the final 12 months of his deal at Ewood Park. The likes of Fulham and Everton were heavily linked with a move for the forward and he looked set for a move to the Premier League, however the report now claims he will instead sign a pre-contract agreement with Villarreal.

Brereton Diaz’s departure will be a huge blow to Blackburn, with the 23-year-old bagging another ten goals this term. Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side may have hoped to tie the striker down to a new contract with the hope of top flight football next season, however their dip in form is making that look less of a guarantee.