Transfer gossip: Sunderland duo linked with exit as Kristjaan Speakman eyes highly-rated striker

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The latest Sunderland transfer gossip with stories on Zak Johnson, Tom Watson and Joe Hugill.

Sunderland face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the Championship this evening with Tony Mowbray's men eyeing a third win on the spin.

The Black Cats have defeated Southampton and Queens Park Rangers in recent matches, scoring eight goals in total and conceding just one.

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During Sunderland's upturn in form, however, there have been several interesting transfer stories doing the rounds. Here, we round-up the latest gossip for you:

Sunderland eye Manchester United striker

Sunderland have once again been linked with a move for Manchester United striker Joe Hugill.

The 19-year-old striker arrived at Old Trafford from Sunderland in the summer of 2020 for £300,000 amid serious interest from Arsenal and Tottenham and has since sporadically trained with United’s first-team squad.

Alan Nixon has stated that Sunderland are interested in revisiting a deal to bring Hugill back to Wearside during the January window.

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Sunderland duo linked with exits

Hartlepool United are considering an approach for Sunderland’s young defender Zak Johnson.

That's according to a report by our sister title, the Hartlepool Mail. Johnson signed a new three-year contract with his boyhood club earlier this summer.

The 18-year-old was a consistent starter for the Black Cats’ under-21s side last season and has regularly trained with the first team over the last year.

Pools manager John Askey is understood considering a loan move for Johnson with the likes of Edon Pruti, Matt Dolan and summer signing Kieran Burton out of favour at the Suit Direct Stadium currently and with the National League club struggling in defence.

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Sunderland youngster Tom Watson has also been linked with an exit with the midfielder the subject of transfer interest from Nottingham Forest during the summer window.

Reports have stated that the Premier League outfit remains interested in the 17-year-old youth international and rated the midfielder at around £300,000 during the last transfer window.

However, that fee will have increased after Watson penned a new deal at the Stadium of Light earlier this month. Watson's rise closely mirrored that of Rigg's last season and culminated in him making his debut against Huddersfield Town.

Eyebrows were raised, though, after Watson didn't feature during Sunderland's pre-season amid contract and transfer uncertainty. It is understood, though, that Watson picked up a back injury towards the end of last season, which he is still working his way back from.

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