Sunderland 'face battle' for Barnsley winger Luke Thomas

Sunderland face competition in the chase for Barnsley winger Luke Thomas – according to reports.
Barnsley winger Luke Thomas is reportedly on Sunderland's radarBarnsley winger Luke Thomas is reportedly on Sunderland's radar
Barnsley winger Luke Thomas is reportedly on Sunderland's radar

The Black Cats have been linked with a January swoop for the 21-year-old, who finds himself on the fringes of the first-team at Oakwell.

But they aren’t the only side reportedly keen on Thomas, with the East Anglian Daily Times reporting that Sunderland will do battle with Ipswich Town for the winger’s signature.

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The England U20 international, who has previously played for Cheltenham Town and Derby County, has made 19 appearances for the Tykes this season – but only seven of those have been starts.

And Barnsley are understood to be willing to allow Thomas to leave on a temporary basis during the January window.

An out-and-out winger, Thomas has previous in League One having impressed on a loan move to Coventry City during the 2018/19 season.

Lee Johnson is understood to be in the market for more attacking players during the winter window, and has previously hinted that loan deals could be a possibility.

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And Thomas could prove an attractive option given he wouldn’t count towards the League One salary cap – although Johnson has some room to manoeuvre under the limit.

Speaking in December, the Sunderland head coach said: “I believe we've got some headroom and depending on the age of that individual, that will dictate just how much head room there is.

“The good news is that we’ve got a lot of good contacts between us at the top clubs, with those good younger players who are U21s.”