Sunderland will have to overcome three significant hurdles if they are to make Manchester United's Louis Saha their next summer signing, but it is thought that there has been an expression of mutual interest between the Wearsiders and the Frenchman, who will be 30 on Friday.
Saha started only six league games for United last season, the last of which was in mid-March, and his questionable fitness would mean Sunderland performing a series of medicals. Were Saha to pass those, there is then his salary, which at Old Trafford is estimated at £70,000 per week. A high fee would also need to be agreed, United having paid £12m to Fulham in 2004 for the former Newcastle United striker. Roy Keane, the Sunderland manager, is keen to bolster his attacking options as his leading striker, Kenwyne Jones, is struggling with a knee injury.
Leto heads to Olympiacos on loan
Liverpool midfielder Sebastian Leto has agreed a two-year loan deal with Olympiacos after being denied a work permit to play in England next season. The 21-year-old Argentinian, who joined the Reds from Lanus in 2007, was granted an Italian passport last summer but it was later revoked.
Leto arrived in Athens late last night to complete a medical and put pen to paper on a two-season deal with the Greek champions.
"Olympiacos is a challenge for me. I know I will be here for two years," Leto said. "I've had two weeks of pre-season training with Liverpool and I believe I will be ready to do whatever I have to."
Spurs pull plug of Bywater's deal
Derby County manager Paul Jewell has confirmed goalkeeper Stephen Bywater's proposed move to Tottenham has fallen through.
Bywater was poised to move after the two clubs agreed a fee last week.
The 27-year-old had a medical at Tottenham but the north London club have pulled the plug on the deal.
Bywater is now back training with Derby and Jewell is happy to have him back challenging Roy Carroll for a first-team place. "I think Stephen is a bit disappointed but, from our point of view, he will certainly push Roy Carroll. Stephen has looked very sharp in pre-season and I am not disappointed."
What the fans say...
*STICKY TOFFEES: "Oh deary me. Less than two weeks to go and still no signings. Instead of the stable progress we all expected we have gone backwards. The first team is weaker and no new signings are imminent." - Bluejay, 4sportssake.com
*BARRY BASHING: "A player who fans backed 100 per cent for 10 years, and a player who we all thought was honest and decent, has actually turned out to be a worm and snake of the highest order." - RobtheVillain, 4sportssake.com
*ROVERS REPLACEMENT: "Can anyone else see Koumas going to Blackburn to replace Bentley?" - Russialatic, Wiganathletic-mad.co.uk
*YESTERDAY'S COMPLETED MOVES
Jay Bothroyd (Wolves) to Cardiff City: £300,000
Tom McBride (Derry) to Northampton Town: Undisclosed
James Chambers (Leicester City) to Doncaster Rovers: Free
Sammy Igoe (Bristol Rovers) to Bournemouth: Free
Stuart Nelson (Leyton Orient) to Norwich City: Free
Moses Ashikodi (Watford) to Hereford United: Loan
Mo Camara (Derby County) to Blackpool : Loan
Sebastian Leto (Liverpool) to Olympiakos: Loan