Stadium of Light boss targets Old Trafford, White Hart Lane and Hawthorns talents.
Newly installed Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill has earmarked a trio of targets he hopes to lure to the Stadium of Light in January as the former Aston Villa and Celtic manager looks to improve his Black Cats squad and steer them away from the relegation zone.
O’Neill has been promised a significant transfer budget by owner Ellis Short and the Northern Irishman is ready to spend the moment the transfer window re-opens so that he can put his stamp on the Sunderland squad that Steve Bruce assembled during his two and a half year stint at the club.
The 59 year old Sunderland manager will look to make an offer for Man United midfielder Darron Gibson, a player who was close to moving to the North-East side in the summer. O’Neill is believed to be keen on bringing in the Irishman to give him more options in the centre of his midfield. Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to accept offers of around £5m for the 24 year old who is yet to play a minute of Premier League football this season.
The Sunderland boss will also inquire about the possibility of nabbing Michael Owen who is out of contract come the summer and O’Neill may try to persuade the former England man to move to the club in January in a temporary deal that could lead to a permanent contract offer when the season comes to an end.
O’Neill will also look to capitalize on the poor relationship between West Brom boss Roy Hodgson and last season’s top scorer Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian international has barely played for the Baggies this season due to injury but when he has been fit Hodgson has invariably opted to play new signing Shane Long up front. The 30 year old has been strongly linked with a move away from the Hawthorns and given that Sunderland have scored just 15 goals in 13 Premier League matches a move to sign another attacking option may be a wise one.
Finally Martin O’Neill is said to be considering a move for Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka who is apparently keen to leave White Hart Lane after losing his first team place to youngster Kyle Walker. The adaptable former Man City man can play at right back and in the centre of defence and could well help stabilize the club’s back line.