Sunderland Target Move for Grant Leadbitter From Championship Rivals Middlesbrough
Championship heavyweights Sunderland are eyeing up a move for former midfielder Grant Leadbitter, as they look to bolster their forces in a push for promotion.
Leadbitter is a Sunderland fan and played professionally at the Stadium of Light from 2003-2009, before being sold to Ipswich Town.
The 31-year-old Englishman has since become the captain of a Middlesbrough side that failed to crack it in the Premier League last season. It is thought that the veteran's chances under new manager Garry Monk will be limited this season, with the midfielder not featuring in the club's opening day fixture on Saturday.
According to The Sun, Black Cats boss Simon Grayson is keen to take Leadbitter back to the north east side. It is thought the move will be discounted as the midfielder only has one year left on his contract at Boro.
Grayson has already completed several signings including deals for Robbin Ruiter, Jason Steele, James Vaughan, and Everton's Aiden McGeady, but the manager is purportedly keen to add another central midfielder to his side.
The Black Cats have received transfer funding from the sale of young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to Everton in a £30m move, Vito Mannone's £2m move to Reading, and Jeremain Lens' $4.5m move to Besiktas. Club talisman Jermain Defoe has also left to join AFC Bournemouth.
Sunderland drew their opening game 1-1 against Derby County on Friday night, while Boro lost out to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.
Middlesbrough are due to face Sheffield United in the late kickoff on Saturday, while the Black Cats play Norwich City on Sunday.