Transfer news: Sunderland linked with move for Scotland international, Newcastle chase Swansea winger, Middlesbrough reject Chinese takeover

Ross McCormack has been linked with a move to Sunderland.
Ross McCormack has been linked with a move to Sunderland.
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Which out-of-favour striker is being linked with a move to the Stadium of Light? Who have Newcastle lined up as an alternative to Andros Townsend? And a potential Chinese takeover at Boro?

All the latest news, views and rumours from around the football world...

Sunderland have been linked with a move for out-of-favour Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack. The Scotland international has been told to train with the kids by manager Steve Bruce after repeatedly missing training (Sunderland Echo).

Meanwhile, the Black Cats are set to offer Joleon Lescott a short-term deal at the Stadium of Light, after he spent the last few days training with the first-team squad. The former England international was released by AEK Athens last year (Daily Mirror).

Newcastle United have switched their attentions to Swansea City's Modou Barrow, with the likelihood of a deal to bring back Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace fading (Shields Gazette).

Middlesbrough have rejected a bid from a Chinese consortium to buy a 50% stake in the club worth about £50m (Daily Mail).

Sheffield Wednesday could bid £8m for Boro striker Jordan Rhodes but the club are understood to be holding out for £12m (Sun).

England captain Wayne Rooney has no intention of leaving Manchester United for China (Daily Star) .

Liverpool have opened up contract talks with Philippe Coutinho to ward off interest from Spanish giants Barcelona (Times).

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is considering a summer move for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, wanted by Manchester United (Daily Mirror).

West Ham have rejected a third offer from Marseille, worth about £22.5m, for Dimitri Payet (Sky Sports).

Tottenham are considering making a bid for Inter Milan's Italy international defender Andrea Ranocchia (Evening Standard).

Chelsea players have told manager Antonio Conte to sign Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, currently on loan at Torino, should Belgium international Thibaut Courtois leave this summer (Sun).

The Blues will not sell Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth unless they can find a replacement (Daily Telegraph).

Chelsea have rejected an opening offer of £10m from Bournemouth for Begovic (Guardian).

Aston Villa are close to completing a £6m double deal for Barnsley's Conor Hourihane and James Bree (Daily Star).

Birmingham's USA defender Jonathan Spector, 30, is close to agreeing a move to Major League Soccer, with Orlando City his likely destination (Birmingham Mail).