Burnley forward linked with Sunderland, while Wahbi Khazri discusses his future

Experienced Burnley striker Jonathan Walters
Experienced Burnley striker Jonathan Walters
Share this article

Chris Coleman is still hoping to make four further additions to his Sunderland squad this month, with two strikers the priority.

Burnley striker Jonathan Walters is one name on the radar, with reports suggesting that the Black Cats have contacted Sean Dyche’s high-flying Premier League side about a possible loan switch.

Clarets boss Dyche addressed the possibility of a loan for the 34-year-old last month and insisted that getting back to full fitness was the only priority for Walters.

The Republic of Ireland international has suffered with a persistent knee problem and has struggled to nail down a place since joining on a free transfer from Stoke in the summer.

Dyche said: “That would be speculation for an unfit player who is just getting fit again.

“That’s where he is at. The future will take care of itself one way or another, we can only look at what is going on now.

“He is getting there. There is a longer term view, he had to strengthen and move it forward for the longer term, not just the immediacy.”

Walters has since returned to the first-team fold and made two subsitute appearances, playing 15 minutes in last weekend’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat at Manchester City.

The Clarets have in recent days strengthened their attacking options by signing Tottenham winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou on loan until the end of the season.

Attacking options are the priority for Coleman after signing centre-back Jake Clarke-Salter on loan.

James Vaughan, who has been linked with a move away himself, is currently the only senior striker on the club’s books.

Coleman said: “We want to bring in new faces, but it has to be the right personality coming into the dressing room to help what we’ve already got.

“That isn’t easy because of course other clubs in a similar situation want to take loan players.

“It is a dogfight but getting Jake is a good start for us and there’s still two, three of four more we’d like to do before the end of the window.”

Coleman will free up one loan slot in his squad if Brendan Galloway returns to Everton. The Toffees are exploring the possibility, with the youngster struggling for first-team action.

EFL rules stipulate that a side can loan as many players as they like, but only name five in any one matchday squad.

Premier League side Watford have been linked with a move for Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong.

French newspaper L’Equipe reports that the Hornets are keen on a loan deal, with an £8million option to buy clause at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Wahbi Khazri has admitted that he does not know what the future holds for his career.

The Tunisian is on loan at French club Rennes, where he has been impressing in a striking role. Reports in France have suggested the Brittany outfit would like to seal a permanent deal for the 26-year-old.

The Black Cats are keen to offload him on a permanent basis and Khazri said: “We’re still far away from June. I’ll give my maximum to help the team. Then what happens, happens.

“My priority is the next six months and then after that there is a World Cup.

“I haven’t spoken with my family about it yet, so I don’t have anything more to say about it.”