Sunderland are set to battle it out with Championship rivals Birmingham City and four other teams in the race for Notts County’s prolific striker Macaulay Langstaff, according to HITC.
The Black Cats are targeting a spot in the play-offs in the hope to return to the Premier League after a seven-year absence. Saturday’s 2-1 defeat saw them replaced in the top six by last season’s beaten finalists Coventry City and there is currently just three points separating sixth and 13th.
Winger Jack Clarke is the club’s top goalscorer with 13 this season, but the Wearsiders woes in front of goal have been well documented. A lack of fire power has been their downfall on several occasions throughout the campaign and a new striker is thought to be at the top of the agenda this month.
Sunderland brought in Nazariy Rusyn, Mason Burstow, Eliezer Mayenda and Luis Semedo to cover the firepower lost by the departures Amad Diallo and Ross Stewart, but the quartet have mustered just a single goal between them.
This is where Macaulay Langstaff comes in. It is claimed that Michael Beale’s team are considering a move for the 26-year-old, who has hit 62 goals in just 77 appearances for the Magpies.
His 41 goals last season played a huge role in Notts County’s promotion from the National League, but life in League Two hasn’t phased the attacker. He is currently the division’s top scorer, having hit the net 20 times in 27 league outings, including six in the last four.
— Notts County FC (@Official_NCFC) December 29, 2023
Understandably, Sunderland aren’t the only team interested in the former Gateshead man. Birmingham City are also reportedly keeping an eye on the situation, as are League One title-chasers Peterborough United and Derby County. Notts County’s recent rivals Wrexham could consider a cheeky bid, with the pair having contested in their famous battle last season in the race for the National League title. Scottish Premiership outfit Hearts are the final club named in the ever-growing list.
HITC state that the Nottingham-based club could be willing to do business if they receive an offer of around £1.5 million, a fee unlikely to put off the Championship duo. However, Peterborough and Derby would likely baulk at the asking price, the former in particular after owner Darragh MacAnthony revealed earlier this month that the club were unlikely to do any business this month.
This is the news that Notts County fans were both dreading and expecting in equal measure. It was only a matter of time before clubs in higher leagues would come sniffing, especially because Langstaff has proved that last season wasn’t a purple patch.
At 26-years-old, he is starting to hit his peak years and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go from strength to strength. The Magpies will be keen to resist offers this month as they target back-to-back promotions, but it is surely a matter of time before he gets a move up the football pyramid.