Ross ‘has striker trio in sights’

The Chronicle - - Safc -

SUN­DER­LAND are look­ing closely at three pro­lific League One strik­ers in an at­tempt to find the goals that will fire them back to the Cham­pi­onship in the up­com­ing sea­son.

Ac­cord­ing to Roker Re­port, who have close links with new owner Ste­wart Don­ald, Billy Sharp, Char­lie Wyke and Ivan Toney are all on Sun­der­land’s list. The re­port claims that the Black Cats are look­ing to sign at least two new strik­ers this sum­mer, with Josh Maja and An­drew Nel­son the only out-and-out strik­ers cur­rently at the club – while An­ton For­rester is on trial.

But while Jack Ross is said to have drafted up a list of po­ten­tial tar­gets to lead his at­tack next term, it is Sharp, Wyke and Toney who cur­rently lead it.

Sharp, 32, would bring a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence – cru­cially, at earn­ing pro­mo­tion from League One too.

Sharp has spent the ma­jor­ity of his ca­reer in the Cham­pi­onship but has twice won the League One ti­tle – most re­cently in 2016-17 when he net­ted 30 goals to help Sh­effield United back to the Cham­pi­onship.

He also net­ted 13 times in the sec­ond tier last term but lost his place in the Blades’ team to the in-form Leon Clarke.

Blades boss Chris Wilder is said to be open to the prospect of sell­ing the vet­eran striker this sum­mer.

Wyke, mean­while, has proven pro­lific in re­cent sea­sons in the third tier. Since sign­ing for Brad­ford in Jan­uary 2017, the 25-year-old Mid­dles­brough-born striker has net­ted 22 league goals in 56 ap­pear­ances.

Re­ports have sug­gested he could be avail­able for as lit­tle as £500k this sum­mer, but Roker Re­port’s ar­ti­cle sug­gests that even that might be higher than the true fig­ure re­quired to prize him away from Val­ley Pa­rade.

Peter­bor­ough are also said to be in­ter­ested in his ser­vices.

Fi­nally, Toney would be an in­ter­est­ing one, given that he cur­rently plays for New­cas­tle.

Toney joined the Mag­pies from Northamp­ton in 2015, and has been out on loan five times.

He has three times helped teams to the League One play­offs (twice at Scun­thorpe and once at Barns­ley) and has net­ted 25 goals in to­tal at that level.

Toney seems keen to leave New­cas­tle, but it ap­pears for Sun­der­land this one would have to be a loan.

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