Transfer Update: Wahbi Khazri has completed his move to Ligue 1 outfit St Etienne for a fee that could rise to £9m. Thankfully, the Tunisian's form at The World Cup has increased his worth, which gives Jack Ross more to play with and as such he’s upped his bid for Bradford City striker Charlie Wyke to £600,000.
We have also made a £1m offer for Cheltenham Town striker Mohamed Eisa. Peterborough and Portsmouth have made similar bids for the Sudan born 24 year old, who netted 24 times in League Two last year, but it’s thought that we are offering more up front. Eisa was playing non-league football with Greenwich Borough only twelve months ago.
Another option up front would be Billy Sharp, whose goal scoring record in League One and the Championship is second to none. He’s scored 204 goals in 404 games and we understand he’s keen to swap the red and white stripes of Sheff United for those of the mighty Sunderland.
Reading midfielder George Evans could also join in the next 48 hours. We are said to have had a six -figure bid accepted for the 23-year-old.
Bryan Oviedo could be next out the door with Club Brugge sniffing about and he will hopefully be closely followed by Didier Ndong.
Despite his best mate moving on to pastures new, Josh Maja reckons he’s 100% committed to Sunderland and is getting used to life without Joel Asoro. Maja said: “I think this is one of the biggest seasons of my career because this is basically a starting point, I think. If I can stay in the team, stay fit, and start firing away it will be massive for me. One hundred per cent this is where I want to be right now. I want to play football here, it’s the right option. As long as I keep working hard and pushing myself, I can do that. We’ve had a few hard years and difficult times but if we can come out the other side of it positive and with good energy, I think it will be great for the history of the club. I want to impress the manager and show what I can do, but of course he wants to have good performances in the team.”
Josh is keen to step it up in the next few pre-season games. He added: “I don’t think I’ve performed to the best of my ability so far, but I think fitness-wise I’ve got the most out of it and that’s the main thing. Hopefully, in the next couple of games I can start scoring a few goals. I’m a very harsh critic of myself and I’ve had chances to score which I haven’t taken. That happens in football but I have to stay confident. I’ve got to get back onto the training field and keep working hard. We have to keep working hard in training and keep showing what we can do. Hopefully that gives us the confidence to perform during the season.”
In other news, Ethan Robson has been chatting about pre-season pressures and life under Jack Ross “It’s not as easy as what people think,” Robson admitted. “There might be a few more signings coming in and everybody just has to adapt to it and quickly get to know each other. There’s a few weeks left and we need to build performances up. The morale is good in the team and hopefully we can improve results as pre-season goes on. In the end, it wasn’t a bad draw,” he added. “It’s fitness at this point in the season. It’s not easy coming on but I think the boys that came on made a bit of an impact. We got the goal and, like I say, we’ve just got to build on the performance. Jack’s come in and has been great, to be fair, him and the staff. The training sessions are great at a good tempo and it’s been brilliant so far.”
Meanwhile, Jack Ross has been chatting about Swedish youngster, Benji Kimpioka. Kimpioka saved us from further embarrassment at Hartlepool on Saturday, when he popped up with a late leveller. Ross said: “It’s an opportunity for young players and some of them take it because of time. Benji, I was at his game during the week and he scored a hat-trick which was an opportune time for him. Then he does that today, so I’m pleased for him personally and it’s a nice reward. I told him to enjoy it, because it is something he should enjoy, his first senior goal and being on the pitch with first-team players. But it should be a reminder of the hard work that lies ahead of him.”