Sunderland transfer round up: De Fanti’s departure, Ji’s big move & Mannone interest

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Shake up on Wearside could see transfer targets change as several youngsters look set to head out on loan.

Sunderland have sacked director of football Roberto de Fanti with owner Ellis Short reported to be unhappy with his transfers to date, according to the Mirror.

The Italian oversaw a raft of new signings arrive in the summer, with few having proved themselves so far.

It is understood that the decision was taken without manager Gus Poyet’s knowledge but this could have an effect on Sunderland’s transfer activity in the rest of the January window.

In a somewhat shocking move, Ji Dong-Won signed a pre-contract with 2013 Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund, according to the Telegraph.

The South Korean striker sealed a temporary move away from the Stadium of Light by joining Augsburg on loan this week, but will link up with Jurgen Klopp’s team for free in the summer.

Ji only started on four of his 24 Premier League appearances since joining two and a half years ago in a £2m deal.

He memorably scored the winner against Manchester City in injury time two years ago but only managed one other strike in his whole time at Sunderland.

Clearly Klopp thinks Poyet and his three Sunderland predecessors have missed a trick by not giving him more game time.

Vito Mannone has been linked with Manchester United but Poyet is not planning to let the goalkeeper leave, according to the Hartlepool Mail.

The Italian has been tipped to replace Anders Lindegaard as David de Gea’s Old Trafford understudy but Poyet is planning to keep him as Keiren Westwood has been ruled out injured for three months.

Poyet admitted he is looking at strengthening his goalkeeping options and it is believed Catania’s Mariano Andujar and Genoa’s Albano Bizzarri are his targets.

Modibo Diakite could be on his way to Serie A to join Chievo, according to TalkSport.

The 26-year-old defender has started only three league games under Poyet and could be tempted to go back to Italy where he previously spent seven years with Lazio.

The former Pescara youngster could be available for around £2.5m.

Steven Fletcher intends to stay and fight for his place with the Black Cats, despite interest from Hull City, Crystal Palace and QPR, according to the Mirror.

The Scotland striker cost £12m from Wolves in the summer of 2012 but no clubs have yet made a concrete offer for his services.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez could also be interested in signing the burly forward in the summer.

Poyet has nearly completed the deal to sign Estudiantes defender Santiago Vergini on loan, according to the Metro.

The centre-back has been linked with the move for the last couple of weeks but the deal should be finalised in the coming days.

One target Poyet will be missing out on is Halmstads BK striker Valmir Berisha who is set to join Roma, according to Sky Sports.

The 17-year-old Swede was top scorer in last year’s U17 World Cup but looks set to snub Sunderland for the Italian giants.

A Swede Sunderland do own, David Moberg Karlsson, is on his way to Dundee on loan, according to The Courier.

The £1.5m winger has been playing for the Black Cats’ Under 20 side but Poyet wants him to gain first team experience elsewhere.

Elsewhere, David Vaughan is set to sign a permanent deal with Nottingham Forest, where he has impressed on loan, according to the Sunderland Echo.

Midfielder Vaughan arrived on a free transfer at Sunderland in 2011 but the club are keen to get him off the wage bill.

Finally, youngsters Duncan Watmore and George Honeyman are set for loan deals away, according to Chronicle Live.

Watmore is being targeted by Hartlepool and Carlisle while Dundee are chasing Honeyman’s services.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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