Wickham to have Black Cats medical
Sunderland were well ahead of Liverpool in pursuit of the signature of Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham last night, with a bid of £9m, which could rise to £12.5m, already accepted and the 18-year-old expected on Wearside for a medical and talks today.
Liverpool had revealed their determination to invest in young talent with an £8m offer three weeks ago for one of the brightest prospects in the English game. Ipswich wanted £10m but that difference seemed breachable.
But to general surprise on Merseyside, Sunderland have moved in with a bold bid. It is for Liverpool, whose transfer spending plans have also been hit by the failure of French Sylvain Marveaux to come through a medical, to decide whether to head back in with a higher bid. Wickham, a boyhood Liverpool fan, is certainly attracted by the idea of a move to Merseyside.
Birmingham midfielder Craig Gardner is due on Wearside for talks with manager Steve Bruce. Sunderland also have Wigan Athletic's Charles N'Zogbia on their radar.
Latest in Sport
England vs Lithuania: Wayne Rooney rules out repeat of boxing celebration after son Kai repeats it at school and focuses on goalscoring record
Marco Reus becomes Arsenal transfer target to replace Theo Walcott
Paul Scholes: It's amazing Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has so few caps for England
New kits for 2015/16: Have the Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona strips been leaked?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Zab Judah denies flooring Mayweather during sparring as he prepares for 2 May
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest