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Sunderland boss looking to strengthen the spine of his team this summer

| 17.04.2012

Sunderland manager, Martin O’Neill, will look to add Wolves striker Steven Fletcher to his squad this summer, as he prepares to build a side capable of emulating local rivals Newcastle and challenging at the top end of the Premier League.

The proposed swoop looks certain to go ahead with Wolves destined for the drop, and the man who cost the Midlands club a record £7 million from Burnley, is keen to stay in the top-flight.

Fletcher has been a bright spark in an otherwise dreary season for Wanderers, in which they have sacked their manager and find themselves eight points from safety with only four games remaining.

The Scot has bagged ten goals this season from only 23 starts and has been linked with the likes of Liverpool in the past.

O’Neill has stalled on offering on-loan Danish international Nicklas Bendtner a way out of Arsenal and he looks set, instead, to opt for Fletcher.

It is believed that the former Leicester boss would have to shell out at least £5 million for Fletcher, but Wolves are keen to recoup their investment and will drive a hard bargain.

The Mackems are also interested in the services of both Keith Andrews and Carlos Cuellar, as O’Neill clearly sees a need to strengthen through the centre of the pitch.

Andrews has impressed since joining West Brom in January, netting twice for the Baggies.

However, the Irish international is only on a short-term deal and Sunderland believe they can tempt him away from Roy Hodgson’s side with the chance to challenge in the upper regions of the league.

Former Rangers man Cuellar is a player that O’Neill knows well after bringing him to Aston Villa in 2008 for just short of £8 million.

The versatile defender has the ability to play anywhere across the backline and with him available on a free transfer come the end of the season, it is widely expected that he will be wearing a red and white stripped jersey come August.



Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.