Transfer news: there isn’t much, but should we really worry?

Jake: 'has Messi signed yet?'
Jake: ‘has Messi signed yet?’

Others clubs are doing business and when that happens, and your own is – publicly – doing none, it is natural to wonder what is going on.

I have argued repeatedly over the years since Roy Keane led Sunderland back to the Premier that the best thing to do with most transfer speculation is to ignore it.

There are exceptions. Jordan Henderson’s departure was well flagged for some time, as were the pursuits of Steven Fletcher, Adam Johnson and – though it ended unhappily – Fabio Borini. No journalistic hype was necessary to keep readers, listeners and viewers informed with what turned out to have been reasonable accuracy.

Read moreTransfer news: there isn’t much, but should we really worry?

Stand by for a manufactured shock: summer’s here, no big signings yet

Jake: 'this is the place where you find true support, unconditional commitment'
Jake: ‘this is the place where you find true support, unconditional commitment’

M Salut writes: thanks to ‘Dinlow’, an error that crept into this report has been corrected (I misled myself into writing that Fletch had not played for Poyet, a ridiculous error – I was there often enough when he did – for which I apologise) ….

Around this time of each year, a few things happen.

Wimbledon’s gone, summer holidays are about to get into full swing, some fan sites abandon joined-up writing and run such pre-school headlines as Never Trust a Mackem: The Reason Why … and people starting moaning about the lack of signings.

Read moreStand by for a manufactured shock: summer’s here, no big signings yet

Goldy’s Logic: spare me summer madness, and a place called NewcastleGateshead

Stephen Goldsmith ponders life, wonders whether visiting NUFC or AVFC fans will allow mention of their clubs

Stephen Goldsmith* appeals for something, anything, even Euro 2012 to stop the nonsense of transfer speculation unsettling his summer …

Read moreGoldy’s Logic: spare me summer madness, and a place called NewcastleGateshead

Are we really content with 4-4-1-1?



Steve Bruce swore until blue in the face that he was right not to replace Darren Bent in January.

Salut! Sunderland was equally adamant that Bent should not have been allowed to go anywhere without a replacement – even a stopgap one – lined up. We allowed for the possibility that what Bruce took to calling a “calculated gamble” was not his choice, but thrust upon him by an owner thrilled to bits with the business aspect of Bent’s sale to Villa.

If he really was content to muddle through with one fit first-team striker, pinning hopes on the returns in due course of Danny Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell, then that stands, in my humble view, as his biggest error of the season.

Read moreAre we really content with 4-4-1-1?

Could this be our week for some really big transfer news?

This will be a short posting to interrupt Salut! Sunderland‘s cruise through the ocean of entertaining material to be found in the 17 editions that the lads at It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand managed to publish before going the way of the Daily Sketch, Daily Herald, Reynolds News, Sunday Correspondent and Today, not to mention the Darlington Evening Despatch.

I have no intention of breaking my own rule of staying aloof, except in special circumstances (eg Jordan Henderson), of transfer speculation affecting SAFC. I am as curious as any supporter about the latest names in the frame, or reported developments in this or that bid. But I also take every single story, wherever it appears in print, on radio and TV or online, with a big enough pinch of salt to have government health busybodies carting me off for treatment.

Read moreCould this be our week for some really big transfer news?

Raging transfer gossip, and taking the higher moral ground

From Ji Dong-won's Facebook page

A few hours after this posting appeared came official news that Keiren Westwood and Seb Larsson have agreed terms and will sign on July 1 … read the report at this link

As transfer fever rises and Sunderland supporters grow impatient, safc.com leads its news pages, in almost surreal fashion, with a scintillating item headlined “SoL groundstaff pressing ahead”.

But we acknowledge their dilemma. Let it be known to readers that Salut! Sunderland is also fully aware that …

Read moreRaging transfer gossip, and taking the higher moral ground

Bruce on ‘frustration’ for supporters, waiting for deals

Someone – Birflatt Boy – took us to task the other day for commenting on the Asamoah Gyan tranfer gossip in the Mirror, overlooking the fact that the reason for doing so was to put Alan Nixon, the author of the speculation, on the spot.

Nixon is now firmly on that spot. We shall see how the close season develops and remind him, if we can, of what he so confidently wrote (while also being ready to acknowledge the quality of his sources if he turns out to be right).

Read moreBruce on ‘frustration’ for supporters, waiting for deals

Fixtures and rumours, Villa and Cardiff, Mannheim and mayhem


Pete Sixsmith gets his teeth into the rumour mill and fixture list planners and risks more Villa wrath with some mischievous managerial suggestions. He also halls a German team (on our pre-season tour) with an unlikely slogan …

Fixtures are out on Friday, so no doubt we will get Swansea away on a Tuesday night and Norwich away on New Year’s Day. Not that the original list is much to go by. After Sky and ESPN get their mitts on it, we will be looking at Saturday evenings, Sunday mornings and Monday nights.

In the meantime, we have lots and lots of conjecture about who’s coming and who’s going. According to this morning’s rumour mill, Darron Gibson and Wes Brown are about to sign – although Brown may opt for Blackburn or Bolton – and John O’Shea is reluctant to move from Old Trafford.

Ji Dong-Won, Seb Larson and Kieran Westwood are waiting for their contracts to run out before they sign for us and David Ngog will “put pen to paper” (love that phrase) when he returns from his two weeks at Butlins, Minehead.

Players leaving are Nyron, George McCartney and Matt Kilgallon, if we can find anyone to pay their wages, while there are kites being flown with respect to Craig Gordon and Steed Malbranque being “offloaded”.

Read moreFixtures and rumours, Villa and Cardiff, Mannheim and mayhem

Niall Quinn – and Moose – on Gyan-for-sale stories: ‘absolute rubbish’

Well done Niall Quinn.

Just as comments here recommended, he has seen the Gyan-for-sale reports as one rumour too far, issuing this statement:


“I’m sorry that our fans have to read the endless speculation that appears in the press at this time of year. Normally we don’t comment on any of it as there’s so much – for instance we’ve been linked to over 40 players in the last month or so alone.

However, the suggestion that we have spoken to an agent to sell this player on our behalf is embarrassing to all concerned. I hope our fans would be smart enough to realise that this is probably some other club or outside agents’ way of attempting to destabilise our relationship with one of our players.”

Maybe as his next step, he should order a halt to the practice of safc.com of having it both ways by pubishing the rumour mill he so despises – oops – throughout the close season. I’m told they also tweet away at each rumour involving our club, which seems unbelievably at odds with the official outlook.

And Niall’s declaration closely followed one made to me by at Twitter by Ian Abrahams – Moose at TalkSport – who responded to my question to him on the veracity or otherwise of the report. “Absolute rubbish” was his reply and Niall gets as close as he can to echoing the thought.