Efe Ambrose wanted at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are preparing a £6million summer bid for Celtic defender Efe Ambrose but face competition from both Liverpool and Swansea City.
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A central defender is at the top of Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill’s summer shopping list and he has made Nigerian international Ambrose, who helped his country lift the African Cup of Nations in South Africa, his number one target.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon only signed Ambrose in the summer when paying Israeli side Ashdod £1.5 million for the 24-year-old, who signed a three-year deal at Celtic Park. But he admits the defender could leave the club in the summer, when Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Fraser Forster could all be poached by Premier League clubs.
“I hope we won’t lose Efe in the summer as he’s just in the door and there’s more he can add to his game,” Lennon told The Journal. “But he has got a few admirers out there with his performances this season.
“There’s been nothing concrete, but I’ve been made aware of it, put it that way. There is definite interest from top teams in different countries. He’s been a great signing for us.”
Sunderland are expected to allow Titus Bramble, who has forced his way back into the first-team picture over the last month or so, and Matt Kilgallon leave the Stadium of Light in the summer when their contracts expire. There are also doubts over whether the injury prone Wes Brown, who has missed the entire season this year, will play again for the club leaving O’Neill with only John O’Shea and the currently injured Carlos Cueller at his disposal for next season.
He has brought in Kader Mangane on loan for the remainder of the season from Al Hilal but the giant centre-back has yet to play a game and it seems at this stage that his move will not become a permanent transfer to the Premier League.