Sunderland willing to let striker leave, with Blackburn Rovers interested

Danny Graham. Picture by FRANK REID
Danny Graham. Picture by FRANK REID
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Sunderland are willing to let Danny Graham leave the Stadium of Light this month, with Blackburn interested in the striker.

Graham has featured in three of Sunderland’s last four games, with the 30-year-old preferred to fellow frontman Steven Fletcher from the bench in last weekend’s crucial victory over Aston Villa.

But with Graham out of contract at the end of the season and Sunderland eager to free up funds on their wage bill to bring in fresh blood, the Black Cats are ready to let the ex-Swansea frontman leave the club.

Blackburn were linked with Graham in weekend reports and it is understood that the Championship side ARE one of the parties who have expressed an interest in him.

New Blackburn boss Paul Lambert admitted earlier this week that he is on the lookout for an experienced targetman in the January window to partner Jordan Rhodes in attack.

“Sometimes you need a street fighter in this league to get you up the pitch, who knows how to take the ball, and who knows how to get hold of the ball,” said Lambert.

“I think that’s something we need so we’ll see if there’s somebody out there who can give us a hand.”

Graham’s wages at the Stadium of Light would be the biggest obstacle for Blackburn, with Rhodes already on a hefty salary at Ewood Park.

But with Graham’s Sunderland deal expiring in the summer, a move to Blackburn would offer the Gateshead-born forward a chance to play regular first-team football.

Graham is one of several fringe players - including the likes of Will Buckley, Charis Mavrias and Valentin Roberge - that Sunderland will look to offload this month.

Buckley could be a target for Birmingham City after teenager winger Demarai Gray joined Leicester in a £3.75million deal last weekend.

Meanwhile, the Echo understands that ex-Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is searching for English-based recruits to sign for Greek club AEK Athens.

Poyet took over at AEK in October and is back on these shores to look for players willing to move to Greece.