Danny Graham training with Sunderland ahead of potential transfer – Sunday gossip
Danny Graham is training with Sunderland ahead of a potential transfer to the club, according to a weekend report.
SKYCHURP on Sunday claim that Graham has reported to the Academy of Light, with his representatives continuing to negotiate a deal with the club that would see him return.
The 35-year-old is available on a free this summer after ending his four-and-a-half-year stay at Blackburn Rovers which started when he joined on loan from Sunderland in January 2016.
The news comes one week after manager Phil Parkinson confirmed that the Black Cats had held talks with the veteran striker over a return to the Stadium of Light. This latest update would suggest those talks have advanced.
While nothing is agreed yet, Sunderland begin their competitive action next Saturday when they host Hull City in Carabao Cup first round and so allowing him to train with the club if negotiations are going well makes sense. It allows the striker to get up to speed alongside players who will become his team-mates, while also getting insight into Parkinson’s methods and expectations.
Speaking after Sunderland wrapped up pre-season with a 1-0 win over Harrogate Town, Parkinson said on transfers: “We have one or two other things we are looking at, and we are going to have a chat as a staff to see where we go with a couple of options.
“We know what we need. We know where the question marks are on the chart on the office wall – the spaces we want to fill – and we are working towards that.
“We’ll try [to get more players in before next weekend], but obviously the transfer window is open for a while yet.”
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And speaking specifically about Graham a week ago, Parkinson had said: “We want to get in another forward and Danny is one we have spoken to.
“It is an important position at the top of the pitch, because tight games can be separated by one clinical finish, and the more strikers you have in the building, the better chance you have got.”
For Graham, the chance to return to Sunderland is likely to offer him some retribution after his disappointing first spell at the club.
Albeit, while the Black Cats were still a top flight side, the Gateshead-born striker managed just one goal in 42 appearances.
Speaking exclusively to Sunderland Live back in 2018, Graham was clearly gutted things hadn’t worked out first time around.
“It was well documented that I was a boyhood Newcastle United fans, but there was no doubts at all about going to Sunderland when I heard their interest,” he reflected.
“I saw it as a great opportunity to play for a massive football club.
“We all know it didn’t work out – of that I’ll be the first to hold my hands up. It wasn’t a successful time there, but that wasn’t for the want of trying.
“There’s absolutely no regrets for me. It was great to play for a massive club in my native North East.
“That was massive for me and I am gutted it didn’t work out, but that’s life and you have to move on unfortunately.
“It was difficult, but I have absolutely no regrets about joining Sunderland, even if a lot of Sunderland fans won’t see it that way.
“That’s part and parcel of football though. You have to accept you’re in the limelight and you’re being judged and I’m first to hold my hands up and admit it just didn’t work out.
“I don’t want to be seen as someone who makes excuses.
“I always gave my all in a Sunderland shirt, but some moves work out and some moves don’t. Unfortunately for me, and unfortunately for Sunderland, that one just didn’t work out.”