Keane to sign former players
Roy Keane has been linked with almost every fringe member of the Sunderland squad since his move to Ipswich and now if finally looks like he may actually sign one of his former players.
The only Sunderland player to move to the Tractorboys so far this summer is youngster Jack Colback and he only joined the club on loan.
But now Keano has agreed a fee for Grant Leadbitter and Carlos Edwards. Daryl Murphy and Nyron Nosworthy were also linked with a move, according to the Daily Mirror but so far neither has materialised into anything other than paper talk, with the latter wishing to remain a Premiership player.
Manager Steve Bruce has confirmed the moves, stating: 'We have given both players permission to go and speak with Roy. We'll see what develops after that.'
Both players wish to move to get first team football. They were key figures in the Black Cats promotion to the Premier League, with both chipping in with a few goals. However, neither player has managed to carry their form into the top division, but both are adequate back ups in the current squad.
Bruce has spoken of his disappointment at losing Leadbitter, a player he attempted to sign for Wigan in January. However, the gaffer understands his wish to make the move: "I really like Grant Leadbitter. But there comes a time when he wants to play and be number one on the team sheet. I understand where he is coming from. I have given him the chance to go and play. If it doesn`t happen at Ipswich, I would be delighted to have him back. But he needs to go and play. I couldn`t offer him what he needed and he was disappointed I brought in Cattermole and Cana. He is Sunderland through and through. He beats himself up so badly when he doesn`t play. But in the end I have told him it is his call."
Should both players leave, it leaves Sunderland a little short in the midfield department. Steed Malbranque, Lorik Cana, Lee Cattermole and Kieran Richardson are the current first choice, with Jordan Henderson, Andy Reid and Teemu Tainio the remaining back ups. Whether this is a precursor to a further move or Bruce is relying on youngsters such as Conor Hourihane or David Meyler to fill in if required, it remains to be seen.