Graham, Scocco close to Sunderland exit

Danny Graham.
Danny Graham.

DANNY GRAHAM and Nacho Scocco are both edging closer to the exit door as Sunderland look to cut their ties with the two big-earning strikers.

The Echo revealed last week how Graham was up for sale with a £1million price tag – just 18 months after Sunderland paid £5m to bring the frontman to the Stadium of Light from Swansea.

There have been enquiries from his former clubs Watford and Middlesbrough, yet the latter’s interest is nowhere near as advanced as has been reported, with their pursuit on the back burner.

But last night Premier League newcomers Burnley emerged as another possible avenue for Graham, with Clarets boss Sean Dyche well aware of the striker after he was Watford’s assistant manager when the 28-year-old enjoyed a prolific two-year spell at Vicarage Road.

Newly-promoted Burnley are on the look-out for a new frontman and are being frustrated in their attempts to sign Middlesbrough’s Lukas Jutkiewicz and Watford’s Troy Deeney.

It is understood that Sunderland could even be willing to let Graham leave on another season-long loan, just so his wages can be removed from the books.

The situation with Scocco is different in that Sunderland do want to recoup their outlay, despite the Argentina international’s eagerness to rejoin former club Newell’s Old Boys.

The Echo reported on Saturday that Scocco’s agent had arrived for talks on Wearside armed with an offer of around £1.5m from the Argentine club.

And now, a Newell’s director has arrived on these shores too in a bid to find an agreement with Sunderland, with the Black Cats looking to regain the £4m they paid to sign Scocco in the January transfer window.

A replacement striker is not at the top of Sunderland’s priorities in the transfer window, with Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham both in full training with the rest of the Black Cats squad at the Academy of Light this week.

They will be joined by Jozy Altidore at the end of next week too, after the American was given extra time off following his World Cup commitments.

But if Sunderland can offload both Graham and Scocco, it will be a significant boost to easing the strain on the club’s wage bill and free up funds for strengthening other areas of the squad.