Newspaper reports today are suggesting that Sunderland are involved in talks with both Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City over the possibility of one of them signing wantaway striker Kevin Phillips.
Gordon Strachan’s Southampton are also said to be interested but looking unlikely candidates because they are not offering anywhere near Sunderland’s reported £4m asking price, and unable to match Phillips’s current weekly wage of £30,000.
But The Journal reports today that Sunderland have begun discussions with the sides managed by Alan Curbishley and Steve Bruce to see if a fee can be agreed before the new season starts next weekend – although the transfer window remains open for three full weeks afterwards. Birmingham have been trying to sign Francis Jeffers but it’s said that Steve Bruce is refusing to match the Arsenal player’s high wage demands, and is targeting Phillips as a cheaper alternative.
Phillips has not featured at all in Sunderland’s pre-season schedule and seems unlikely to be picked for first-team action when the new season starts because of his lack of match fitness.