Sunderland receive surprise interest in out of contract man

Sunderland and their League One rivals are already being linked with a host of players – with transfer rumours ramping-up ahead of the summer window.
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Here’s the latest gossip and transfer news from the Stadium of Light and around League One:

Sunderland battling Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers and Ipswich Town for ‘terrific’ talent

Sunderland are one of several clubs reportedly bidding to land Crewe Alexandra forward Owen Dale.

Sunderland AFC transfer rumours: Lee Johnson bids to land 'terrific' 12-goal talent as Cats face DOUBLE contract blowSunderland AFC transfer rumours: Lee Johnson bids to land 'terrific' 12-goal talent as Cats face DOUBLE contract blow
Sunderland AFC transfer rumours: Lee Johnson bids to land 'terrific' 12-goal talent as Cats face DOUBLE contract blow
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The 22-year-old has scored 12 times for the Gresty Road side this term and also scooped the League One Player of the Month award for December.

And after netting a brace in Crewe’s 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic on Tuesday evening, Football Insider claim that Dale is attracting interest from a host of clubs – including the Black Cats, Preston, Blackburn and Ipswich.

Dale’s current contract is set to expire in 2022 and Crewe manager David Artell feels there is more to come from the academy graduate.

“We still think there is a hell of a long way to go with him because he has got some terrific attributes,” he told Cheshire Live earlier this season.

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“If he keeps developing the way he is at the minute, we are going to have a very good player, not just a good player, in 12 months’ time.”

Middlesbrough line-up double swoop for out-of-contract Charlie Wyke and Lee Burge

The Black Cats could be faced with a double contract blow – with Lee Burge and Charlie Wyke both reportedly on the radar of Middlesbrough.

Both players see their deals expire in the summer and, having been named in the League One Team of the Season earlier this week, will no doubt be attracting admiring glances from above.

Wyke is understood to be a target for Boro and a number of their Championship rivals, with Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Cardiff City also reportedly keen.

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And now Football League World claim that Burge is also a surprise target for Neil Warnock and Middlesbrough – with Boro have struggled in the goalkeeping department this term.

Burge and Wyke are one of a host of Sunderland players out of contract this summer, although it was revealed earlier this week that Jordan Willis is now under contract until June 2022.

Jack Diamond has also signed a new contract.

Paul Cook makes a bizarre promise to Ipswich Town fans

Elsewhere in League One, Ipswich Town are looking to end their ten-hour goal drought this weekend – and Paul Cook has bizarrely promised a topless celebration if his side find the net against Swindon Town on Saturday afternoon.

The Tractor Boys are all-but out of contention for the play-off places but have a good opportunity to bounce back from a poor run of form when they face already relegated Swindon Town in their penultimate away fixture.

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Speaking at his press conference earlier this week, Cook joked: “Listen, if we do score I’ll run around the pitch with my top off!”

"So you can tell our fans watching on iFollow to keep their eyes on the dugout for the celebration!"