Football clubs are notoriously sluggish when it comes to saying anything reliable about transfer news. Sometimes there is good reason for the reticence; often enough it’s just an extension of the culture of secrecy they love to develop.
Sunderland are no worse than others in this regard, and probably better than most.
But they are, like many of the others, fond of having it both ways: keeping officially silent while plagiarising rumours and speculation from elsewhere.
I have no complaint about that: the editor of safc.com has to keep his pages looking up-to-date and active, just as we do, when there isn’t actually any football or much else going on. And come to think about it, I am just about to do it, too.
All the same, it’s an object lesson in officialese-meets-prying-hacks custom and practice. This was today’s offering:
Today’s Guardian is following up on the story that Sky Sports ran last night regarding Sunderland’s apparent interest in Manchester United trio Wes Brown, Darron Gibson and John O’Shea.
The paper states that Sunderland hope to conclude a deal for the three United players with the money they would get from Liverpool should Jordan Henderson seal a move to Anfield.
The article continues implying that the Black Cats had put in place the deal for Brown, O’Shea and Gibson last week and although the bid has reportedly been accepted, at least one of the three wants to see if other offers materialise.
Elsewhere, The Sun believes Everton are winning the race to sign West Ham striker Demba Ba.
It had previously been reported that Sunderland were interested in the frontman, but despite new Hammers boss Sam Allardyce’s attempts to hold onto the Senegalese star, it looks like a move to Merseyside could be on the cards for Ba.
Also in The Sun, Charles N’Zogbia has revealed his desire to move on from Wigan.
The 25 year-old has told the press: “After two years here [Wigan Athletic], I think the coach and the owner are satisfied with what I have done. They know I want to sign with a bigger club who can play in Europe.”
Sunderland, Liverpool and Newcastle have all been reported to be monitoring the player’s situation, with Newcastle tipped as favourites to re-sign the Frenchman.
Enjoy it, be annoyed by it, remain unmoved. Just don’t believe any of it, not just yet.