Sunderland face battle with Marseille for midfielder Jonathan de Guzman

Jonathan de Guzman
Jonathan de Guzman

Sunderland will need to hijack cash-rich Marseille’s move for Jonathan de Guzman, if they are to land the ex-Swansea midfielder.

Widespread reports emerged in Italy yesterday that Sunderland had made an approach to Serie A outfit Napoli over taking de Guzman on a season-long loan, with a view to signing the Dutch international permanently next summer.

The speculation is thought to be genuine, with de Guzman – who spent two seasons at tomorrow’s visitors to the Stadium of Light, Swansea – fitting the remit of the attacking midfielder that Dick Advocaat has been desperate to add to his squad all summer.

There have been suggestions that de Guzman is eager to return to the Premier League after being limited to a bit-part role at Napoli, following a Bosman move from Villarreal last summer.

But Sunderland face stiff competition from Marseille for de Guzman’s signature after the 27-year-old had been on the verge of penning a deal with the French outfit earlier this week. Marseille have been tracking de Guzman all summer and should have no troubles financially after selling Florian Thauvin to Newcastle for £12million.

Just this week, de Guzman’s agent, Fabio Parisi said: “Naples and Marseille don’t want to wait for the last few days of the transfer window to complete the deal.

“So, this week could be the good one.”

However, De Guzman would fit the bill of a “quality” addition to the squad which Advocaat has been eager for after netting nine goals in 71 appearances for Swansea, including a stunning strike against Sunderland in Gus Poyet’s first game in charge, in October 2013.

Advocaat remains eager to land a striker too, with Sunderland thought to have held talks with Dutch side Utrecht over Sebastien Haller.

The 21-year-old fits the bill as the targetman Advocaat has been looking for and the two clubs are understood to have discussed a potential transfer fee.

Sunderland’s valuation has so far fallen short of Utrecht’s £4.5m price tag on Haller, who they signed on a permanent deal this summer from French club Auxerre after a successful loan spell.

But Utrecht’s plan has always been to sell Haller on for a profit, if possible, to fund further signings, although the player himself would also have to agree to a move to the Stadium of Light.