Sunderland await decision by Ferdinand after agreeing £8m fee

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The Independent Football

Sunderland should discover today if Anton Ferdinand is to become their next major signing after the Wearside club and West Ham agreed a fee in the region of £8m for the 23-year-old centre-half over the weekend.

But it is by no means a certainty that London-born Ferdinand will wish to move to the North-East, with Newcastle having failed when expressing interest earlier this summer, and other clubs are believed to be monitoring Ferdinand's situation. He did not play in the Hammers' 2-1 win over Wigan on Saturday.

Roy Keane is eager to sign a new central defender, with on-loan Jonny Evans having returned to Manchester United, who will not now consider a sale. Sunderland's need for strengthening in that area was evident on Saturday when they lost to a late goal from Liverpool's Fernando Torres, who was given time and space by the makeshift central pairing of Nyron Nosworthy and Danny Collins.

The world players' union, FIFPro, has pledged to back Adrian Mutu as he prepares to appeal against Fifa's order that he pay his former club Chelsea £13.68m.

Fifa's dispute resolution chamber said last Thursday that Mutu must pay the compensation after testing positive for cocaine in 2004. The Romanian striker was sacked by Chelsea and has since rebuilt his career in Italy, where he now plays for Fiorentina.

A statement from FIFPro said it would "assist Mutu when the Romanian player will lodge an appeal." FIFPro claims an English player in the same circumstances would have been treated differently. The union also said: "It is extremely strange that a player who is dismissed by a club must pay damages based on the transfer amount previously paid for him, whilst he has had no control whatsoever on the amount of this fee."

The Ipswich manager, Jim Magilton, has confirmed that Fulham have accepted an offer for defender Moritz Volz. Volz, 25, has made 125 Premier League appearances for the Cottagers since joining in 2004, but lost his right-back spot to Paul Stalteri towards the end of last season.

The Mexico international Nery Castillo is the subject of interest from Serie A side Roma, according to the on-loan Manchester City forward's agent.

Castillo moved to Eastlands on a year-long loan from Shakthar Donetsk in January but made only two starts in a season curtailed by a shoulder injury.

The 24-year-old has reportedly held talks with Spanish side Real Betis, while Roma are also interested, according to his agent, Juan Carlos Padilla.