Sunderland FC striker, Steven Fletcher, has seen diminished playing time since the arrival of manager Gus Poyet, sparking speculation that the club may be sending him to the Tottenham Hotspur FC in the transfer window. Scottish Champions Celtic, along with Hull City, are also in on the battle for the Sunderland forward. While all three clubs have shown an interest in the Scottish star, the price tag will most likely bet the determining factor for who ends up with him.
The expected price that Sunderland would set on such a deal would be at least £10 million, and it is unlikely that Celtic would decide to make that investment in a transfer window player, no matter what his pedigree. Celtic boss Neil Lennon has indicated that the club would be willing to offer £6 million now, but that leaves the two clubs a good distance apart on price. Even though Fletcher would likely accept a pay cut to return to Scotland, particularly in light of the opportunity to play in the Champions League, the numbers may well still be prohibitive in the case of that deal. Sunderland won’t be sending Fletcher anywhere if a reasonable figure is not agreed upon, which is why a move to the Tottenham Hotspur FC is more likely at this juncture. While Hull City could likely match the figure, it is difficult to picture them being a favorite over the Spurs.
With Jermain Defoe about to leave to play for the Toronto FC in the American MLS, Spurs manager Tim Sherwood is shopping for talented forwards with renewed vigor. Poyet is looking to unload Fletcher’s contract in order to raise the money necessary to acquire multiple players who might help the club avoid relegation with them currently sitting at the bottom of the standings. It would appear to be a good situation for all involved if the decision to pull the trigger is made. For the time being, it is still just a possibility that fits all of the needs of the clubs involved. During the January transfer window, things can change quickly.
According to a report by Jane Lewis of BBC Sport in Scotland, Sunderland manager, Poyet, has said that he does not want to get rid of his star striker. He indicated that it was all speculation until he had a concrete offer, adding that any of his players would be available should a club come forward with a bid of £25-£30 million. Poyet, according to the BBC report, said jokingly that the player he wanted was Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, but that he couldn’t lure Ronaldo away to the cold of Sunderland. It might take Cristiano Ronaldo to prevent them from being relegated after the difficulties of this campaign.
Despite the banter and protestations, it seems likely that Poyet will soon be fielding an offer to take the Scottish goal-scorer off of his hands. While Celtic might be the more desirable choice in Fletcher’s reckoning, it is far more likely that he will be staying in the Premier League if he goes. The Tottenham Hotspur FC seems the most likely destination if the Sunderland FC is going to be sending him anywhere.
By Jim Malone