Sunderland to battle Ipswich and Portsmouth for striker this summer

Sunderland 'line-up' summer move for striker - but face competition from Portsmouth and IpswichSunderland 'line-up' summer move for striker - but face competition from Portsmouth and Ipswich
Sunderland 'line-up' summer move for striker - but face competition from Portsmouth and Ipswich
The summer transfer window may still be weeks away – but the rumour mill has already started to turn.

And Sunderland have been linked with a summer move for an in-demand striker, while former manager Roy Keane looks set to miss out on a return to the dugout.

Here’s the latest transfer rumours from the Stadium of Light and around League One:

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Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich linked with striker Guy Melamed

The Black Cats are one of several clubs who have been credited with an interest in St Johnstone striker Guy Melamed.

An Israeli striker, Melamed has been catching the eye for the Scottish side this term and has netted five goals in 15 games since making his debut in November.

And Football Insider claim that Sunderland are one of three clubs eyeing a potential summer move – with Portsmouth and Ipswich Town also rumoured to be interested.

Melamed is out of contract in the summer and the trio may be able to offer a lucrative contract if they are to secure promotion to the Championship.

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The 28-year-old has never played in England, and his move to St Johnstone was the first time he had played outside of Israel.

Roy Keane set to miss out on managerial return

The former Sunderland boss was one of the first names mentioned with the Salford City vacancy on Monday, after the League Two side parted company with Richie Wellens.

Keane’s close ties to the Class of 92 ownership group have seen him attend various Salford games this season and he was among the favourites with the bookmakers to take the job this week.

But former Blackpool and Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer looks set to be appointed by the Ammies, with betting suspended by many bookmakers.

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Portsmouth deny pay-cut rumours

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin has played down rumours that their out-of-contract players have been asked to take a pay-cut next season.

11 players will be out of contract at Fratton Park this summer, with social media awash with claims that those individuals had been told to expect reduced wages.

But Catlin denied those whispers, and told told The News: “I speak to the players and there are absolutely no issues whatsoever. This is not even a Pompey-related issue, it’s a football-related issue.

“And just to be clear, I have not asked a single player to take a pay cut. Not one.

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"Since the falling down of the salary cap, all League One and League Two clubs have gone back to the mechanism known as SCMP, which is based on turnover.

“This year, because of covid, turnover has crumbled. Overall, it’s probably going to be down 40-50 per cent – and all clubs are in the same position.

“In regards of new contracts and new players, you are guided by that. We are now governed by SCMP, so all players at all clubs need to be realistic about that.

“I don’t see why that would be deemed as being controversial, that’s a fact – and we have been honest, open, and transparent with players about that situation.”