Sunderland transfer news: First January addition nears after West Ham United breakthrough

Sunderland are on the brink of making their first January addition.

As reported by Sky Sports on Monday afternoon, the Black Cats have been in advanced discussions with West Ham United over the addition of midfielder Pierre Ekwah.

The 21-year-old, formerly of Chelsea, is set to sign a long-term deal after a breakthrough in negotiations between the two clubs over the weekend.

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Ekwah had featured and starred for West Ham United U21s on Friday night, scoring and registering an assist against Manchester United.

West Ham United midfielder Pierre Ekwah

A midfielder has been a key priority for Tony Mowbray and the Sunderland hierarchy following the loan departure of Jay Matete for Plymouth Argyle.

The highly-rated youngster fits the bill as a capable holding midfielder who is also capable of playing further forward.

Mowbray said earlier in the window: “I would say that we're still looking for a six, who can become an eight."When you play against a team who has two sitting midfielders, we can push one of ours on and at the moment we do that with Dan Neil. We sit Corry and Dan and if they play two sitters, Dan can push on."So we want that flexibility of one who can play deeper but also a bit higher if required."

Ekwah’s arrival will kickstart the window for Sunderland – who remain keen to add further competition for Ross Stewart up front. Mowbray conceded last week that the club may well be active right up until the closing stages of the transfer window next week.