Stoppila Sunzu has been on trial on the Wear; could Sunderland finally complete a deal for Africa's most sought after talent?
It has been an unusual transfer saga but a saga nonetheless for Zambian international Stoppila Sunzu. Originally it was reported that the highly rated defender was all set for a move to Arsenal before that rhetoric then changed to a potential move to Reading.
However neither came about after it emerged the deal was not as straight forward as Premier League suitors first thought.
A wanted man maybe but it seemed one of the main lures in regards to his signing was his apparent availability on a free transfer. Arsenal and Reading were reportedly under the impression that the 23-year-old was out of contract at his Democratic Republic of Congo side TP Mazembe when in fact he was not out of work until the summer of 2015.
Therefore the club were looking for a fee of £3 million and will still want such a figure for their star player if European suitors are to snap him up.
A lacklustre display in the African Cup of Nations seems to have cooled Arsenal’s interest in the player while the miscommunication on his employment status has ended the deal with Reading so a dream move to the Premier League seems to have dissipated.
Or has it?
It seems Sunderland are willing to run the rule over the young defender and he has recently been on trial at the club.
Mazembe allowed him to take part in some training for the team and even play in a behind closed doors friendly for The Black Cats; which was unfortunately cut premature due to a knock to the knee.
Martin O’Neill had this to say on his latest trialist:
"He played a little game the other day, but he had a swollen knee before he came here and he had to come off in the game. That will stop him training for a week at most. And then he'll be going away to play during the international break so we'll monitor him during that game. But I haven't seen enough of him yet to make a decision on him."
The centre of defence is certainly an area for improvement at The Stadium of Light and if the Zambian is as good as his transfer situation is complicated than Sunderland will have a potentially fantastic deal on their hands.
Have you seen Sunzu play? Is he good enough for the Premier League?
image: © ennaimi