MARTIN O’Neill has made a personal check on Swedish scoring sensation John Guidetti.
The Sunderland boss watched Eredivisie giants Feyenoord at the end of last season, one of several top flight bosses who took a closer look at the on-loan Manchester City striker during the course of last term.
The 20-year-old Sweden forward enjoyed phenomenal success in Holland last year, notching 20 goals in 23 games for Feyenoord, but is not guaranteed a role with Manchester City next season.
That has alerted several other top flight clubs, who have been made aware of the fact he wants guaranteed first-team football next term. Swansea City and Newcastle have also been linked with a loan move for the striker, while Feyenoord want to sign him up permanently after his remarkable success.
Sunderland would be able to offer him first-team chances while also giving him the chance to stay in England, where he has lived since signing for City as a 15-year-old. He is understood to be one of a few striking options being considered by O’Neill – who also has designs on Wolves forward Stephen Fletcher.
Their new manager Stale Solbakken has said he would like to keep the Scottish striker but admits that the club may be vulnerable to bids for him. Wolves want £10million for him but Sunderland would be ready to deal at around £6million for a player they have started to do their homework on.
“I think some players will leave and some players will come in,” Solbakken said over the weekend.
“I hope we’ll hold on to some of our more attractive players.”
While Sunderland prepare
moves to improve their squad, two of their internationals look set to play a full part in this summer’s European Championships after major fitness boosts.
Ireland’s John O’Shea looks set to have won his race against time to recover from a hamstring problem while Sebastian Larsson has declared himself fit and ready to take on England after enjoying a full recovery from a hernia operation.
The Sweden winger missed Sunderland’s last three games of the season to go under the knife and save his dream of playing in Poland and Ukraine and that sacrifice appears to have worked.
Sweden are set to do battle with England, France and host nation Ukraine in Group D next month.
He said: “I feel good. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve played a match after having the operation.
“After playing so many matches throughout the season, it was great from a mental viewpoint to be able to relax a bit and focus on a different type of training in doing some rehab work. It all starts here (for the European Championships). We start the build-up now and set our sights on what is to come.”
Meanwhile, O’Shea was named in Ireland’s final 23 after boss Giovanni Trapattoni said the defender should be fit and firing for the first game of the tournament.
The Black Cats defender skipped Ireland’s 5-0 win over a Tuscan Select XI last night but should make the test against Hungary next week.
The Ireland boss said: “John O’Shea is very happy. I would like him to start but he prefers Monday against Hungary. We have time to decide.”