The state of play explained as Sunderland eye defensive swoop in final hours of deadline day

Sunderland are exploring the possibility of signing Wolves youngster Dion Sanderson before the transfer window shuts at 5pm.
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Phil Parkinson has been in the market for a new defensive option after seeing summer signings Morgan Feeney and Arbenit Xhemajli suffer long-term injuries.

Feeney is expected to be out for another two months, while Xhemajli will not play again this season.

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Capable of playing as both a right-back and a centre-back, Sanderson is highly rated but not yet a central part of Wolves’ boss Nuno Espirito Santo’s first-team plans.

Wolves youngster Dion Sanderson is a potential target for SunderlandWolves youngster Dion Sanderson is a potential target for Sunderland
Wolves youngster Dion Sanderson is a potential target for Sunderland

He made ten appearances for Cardiff City during a successful loan spell last season, and the expectation through the summer was that a return to the second tier was more likely.

The Bluebirds have retained an interest in Sanderson, who has also been linked with a move to Sheffield Wednesday.

Both are active in the market on deadline day, with Cardiff believed to be keen on a loan move for Leicester City defender Filip Benkovic. Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, have already signed centre-back Aden Flint on loan from Cardiff themselves.

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That has led the Black Cats to explore the possibility of stepping in and offering Sanderson regular first-team football.

It remains to be seen whether Wolves or the youngster himself will opt to step down to the third tier, but with options limited in the salary-cap era, Sunderland have deemed it an option more than worth exploring.

Parkinson said yesterday that it was possible he would not do any business before the deadline later today, saying that he was unsure if he would be able to land a player of the calibre required.

As such, he has a number of options in the free agent market that he will explore next week if a deal is not done on Friday.

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"Obviously it [the injury to Xhemajli] leaves a gap, and with Morgan Feeney also out that leaves us light in terms of numbers,” Parkinson said.

"We do have people who can play at the back, Luke O’Nien and Conor McLaughlin, but it’s something we’re looking at.

“If it’s before Friday then good, but there are players out of contract who are available after Friday as well.”

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