Available for £1m this summer, why didn't Sunderland target Ahmed Elmohamady before Aston Villa switch?

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Aston Villa needed just £1 million to sign Ahmed Elmohamady, which begs the question why did Sunderland not move?

Ahmed Elmohamady of Hull City walks out to warm up prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Hull City at Selhurst Park on May 14, 2017 in London, England.

Few deals done by Championship sides during the summer window are seemingly set to become bigger bargains than the £1 million deal (via BBC Sport) that saw Aston Villa bring Ahmed Elmohamady in from Hull City.

Elmohamady may not be a marquee player, but he provides a reliability and consistency that has made him useful at every club he has been at since arriving in England seven years ago. 

Ahmed Elmohamady of Aston Villa and Younès Kaboul of Watford during the pre season friendly match between Aston Villa and Watford  at Villa Park on July 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

The 30-year-old is able to play anywhere down the right flank, and Villa boss Steve Bruce has taken advantage of that fact by using him in a number of roles already during the opening weeks of the season.

And his faith has been vindicated, with the Egyptian already providing three assists in the league this term, which suggests that by the end of the campaign, there will absolutely no doubt that Villa made a genius decision spending £1 million on him.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

But with the wide-man costing such a low amount, the question must surely be asked, why did Sunderland seemingly not make their own bid for their former player?

Simon Grayson was not able to spend large amounts of money during the summer window, so finding bargains would have been a big part of his job to try and give the squad the best chance of bouncing back following relegation.

Unfortunately, the low-cost deals he did manage have seemingly failed to inspire, and the Black Cats appear to be in contention to suffer back-to-back relegations. 

While Elmohamady returning to the Stadium of Light would not have solved all of their problems, his defensive contribution coupled with his creativity going forward would have meant that he would have been an excellent player to have in the squad.

And with BBC Sport reporting that his release clause at Hull was just £1 million, Grayson should arguably be kicking himself right now that he did not think to try and bring him back to familiar surroundings. 

Would Elmohamady have been a smart target for Sunderland in the summer?

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