Sunderland suffer blow in pursuit of Altidore and Duncan

Sunderland have suffered a double blow in their bid to bolster their squad for the new season.

The Black Cats have been one of the busiest Premier League sides this summer with five new faces already signed up by boss Paulo Di Canio.

The Italian and his team have been scouring Europe for new faces and appear to have hit a wall in their moves for Inter Milan star Alfred Duncan and AZ Alkmaar striker Jozy Altidore.

Di Canio had been keen to add attacking midfielder Duncan to his line up but could not agree a fee with Inter for the 20 year old.

Sunderland were believed to have offered £5 million for the player but with the Italians not wishing to part with the player a deal could not be agreed. It’s not all doom and gloom however as fresh reports are indicating that the club could allow him to move to the Stadium of light on a season long loan deal.

That could still interest Di Canio especially as his offer for Altidore has been re-buffed by Dutch side AZ.

Altidore had a poor spell with Hull City in 2009 but his stock has risen once again following a successful spell in the Eredivisie.

The 23 year old scored 23 league goals last season and further enhanced his reputation with a further 8 goals in the KNVB Cup, including the winning goal in the final as AZ claimed their first Dutch cup win in 31 years.

Teams from Germany and Italy are also keen on the American however the player’s agent, Lyle Yorks, has confirmed that talks with an English club, now confirmed as Sunderland, were at an advanced stage.

AZ however are not under pressure to cash in on the former Hull City star following the sale of Adam Maher to PSV for $10.4 million with a club spokesman telling Dutch press agency ANP: “A first bid was insufficient. We have let them know that. Now we have to wait.”

It remains to be seen where Sunderland will return with an improved offer for the 23-year-old, or turn their attention to alternative targets.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.