Sunderland’s cup heroics could help them secure ‘new Zlatan’ after contract offer

Could last night's victory for Sunderland have seen them gain an advantage in the pursuit of Valmir Berisha?

Following Sunderland’s impressive and much-deserved victory over Manchester United in the first-leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final, the Sun has run a story claiming the Black Cats are chasing Halmstads forward Valmir Berisha.

The only thing is, this is old news.

The 17-year-old – dubbed ‘the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ – revealed he had a contract offer from Sunderland back in November, along with deals from Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Celtic to name a few.

In short, he is a wanted man.

So why pick today to run a story that is in essence two months old?

Well in truth it is obvious. The player has already stated his desire to “choose the right club”, and given the Black Cats’ latest cup victory, they may have just got the upper-hand.

Although it is impossible to know what Berisha was doing yesterday evening, he will no doubt have kept tabs on a match involving one of his suitors and one of the most famous clubs in the world. That the former proved victorious may just have piqued his interest.

Gus Poyet’s men still have a lot to do in the Premier League to ensure they remain an enticing proposition for potential new arrivals, but their latest performance certainly will have done their pursuit of the highly-rated teenager no harm.

Although a win at Old Trafford and an eventual League Cup victory could make up his mind entirely…

image: © Russell C

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch