Southampton Set To Raid Championship Rivals In Striker Hunt

Southampton are expected to launch a bid for Sunderland striker Ross Stewart before the transfer window shuts on Friday night, according to Football Insider.

The Saints are in the market for a new attacker, with Che Adams expected to depart for the Premier League before the week draws to a close. The South coast team are armed with a hefty war chest following the big-money sales of Romeo Lavia, James Ward-Prowse, Tino Livramento and Nathan Tella. As a result, it’s expected to be a busy week at St Mary’s.

Sunderland are also desperate to recruit a striker this week after missing out on the loan of Fulham starlet Jay Stansfield and remain desperately short of numbers further up the pitch. Stewart has been on the sidelines since suffering an Achilles heel injury in January, although is expected to return following the international break next month.

The 27-year-old has attracted the interest of Scottish giants Rangers and is out of contract at the Stadium of Light at the end of the season. The Scottish international has reportedly rejected Sunderland’s offer of an extension, but the Wearside club are unwilling to sanction his exit unless a replacement is found.

Football Insider’s report states that Southampton have already made contact with the player’s camp and are expected to make a bid in the coming days.

Stewart hit 11 goals in all competitions in just 15 appearances last season prior to his injury. With Amad Diallo having returned to Manchester United following his successful loan spell, Sunderland have struggled in front of goal so far this season. Manager Tony Mowbray has continued to point to his star man’s potential return next month as a catalyst, but it looks as if he faces a battle to keep him in the North East.

Writer’s View

This is a really difficult one for Sunderland. On the one hand, this represents their final opportunity to get a decent fee for the player, but on the other hand, his goals will be difficult to replace.

A quality replacement at this stage of the transfer window will be difficult to find, but Stewart’s wishes will be key to this move. Clearly, he is ready to move on to pastures new and the lure of Southampton may be too good to turn down, especially because the club harbour ambitions of returning to the Premier League next season.

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