Report: Sunderland compensate for defensive departures by targeting Ligue 2's Jonathan Gradit

Sunderland fans celebrate after the game

Jonathan Gradit will be available on a free transfer with his contract at Ligue 2 club Tours expiring but will Sunderland be his next destination.

Sunderland manager David Moyes poses David Moyes lasted less than 12 months at Sunderland

With the flesh likely to be stripped from Sunderland’s already threadbare squad this summer, the resignation of David Moyes could hardly have come at a worse time.

It is now three weeks since the Black Cats had a manager to call their own and, in the meantime, many of their Championship rivals have already began strengthening their squad ahead of next season. Sunderland, however, are yet to complete a single transfer while the likes of Jason Cummings, Connor Mahoney and Efe Ambrose look to have slipped through their grasp.

Blackburn Rovers' Connor MahoneyBlackburn Rovers' Connor Mahoney, and Hibs' Jason Cummings, are set for Nottingham Forest

However, the phrase ‘better late than never’ comes to mind. Because French publication Ma Ligue 2 claims that Sunderland are making a move for 24-year-old centre-back Jonathan Gradit.

The 6ft 1ins enforcer is leaving French second division outfit Tours, where he has spent his entire career, with his contract due to expire this summer. Therefore, the free-agent will certainly appeal to a Sunderland side whose hands are tied behind their back thanks to concerns over the club’s debt.

Sunderland fans

That is if they can beat a number of Ligue 1 clubs to his signature.

Furthermore, with John O’Shea, Jan Kirchhoff and Jolean Lescott leaving on free transfers, Jason Denayer returning to parent club Manchester City and Lamine Kone certain to be offered a Premier League lifeline, a new centre-half is a must.

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for SunderlandLamine Kone has been linked with West Ham and Crystal Palace

Nonetheless, making the unknown Gradit their first summer signing will not raise expectations too high at the Stadium of Light ahead of what is expected to be a difficult Championship season.

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