Have Sunderland received fatal blow to hopes of signing Brentford's Ryan Woods?

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Sunderland aren't alone in targeting Brentford midfielder Ryan Woods - Brighton and Burnley are interested too.

Ryan Woods of Brentford gestures towards the Derby County supporters following the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Derby County at Griffin Park on September 26, 2017 in...

As if a Sunderland side lacking in funds and sitting bottom of the Championship did not have a difficult enough task trying to lure Ryan Woods to the Stadium of Light.

The Sunday People (September 22nd, page 47) reported that The Black Cats were hopeful of signing the Brentford midfielder although his £3 million price-tag would have stretched their January budget to its limit.

But HITC sources are now making clear that Woods could have a few better offers in the New Year. It is understood that Premier League duo Burnley and Brighton rate the 25-year-old very highly and have sent scouts to watch him in action of a number of occasions this season.

Ryan Woods of Brentford  and Conor Washington of Queens Park Rangers in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and QPR at Griffin Park on April 22, 2017 in...

Brentford are understandably keen to keep hold of one of their key players but are now braced for offers in January. So, in short, why would the former Shrewsbury Town midfielder join a Sunderland side who could conceivably be in danger of dropping into League One over two teams flying high in the top flight?

Woods, a deep-lying midfielder known for his incisive passing and class on the ball, is one of the Championship’s most gifted midfielders – and made a real impression in the recent televised victory over Leeds United by sweeping home a gorgeous last-minute goal to seal a 3-1 win.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton is tackled by Ryan Woods of Brentford during the Pre Season Friendly match between Brentford and Southampton at Griffin Park on July 22, 2017 in...

With the huge fees flying around in the Championship in recent times, Woods’ value has surely exceeded the £3 million barrier now – which provides another reason for Sunderland fans to feel pessimistic about their chances.

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