Sunderland have been linked with a move for Crystal Palace ace Martin Kelly.

According to The Sun via the Mirror (14:04 live transfer updates on 4th June), Sunderland are plotting a £2.5 million bid for Crystal Palace defender Martin Kelly.

The report claims that Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is in the market for a new defender this summer and has placed Kelly at the the top of his wish-list while Joey O’Brien remains another option.

Sunderland preserved their Premier League status as an excellent late run of form saw them claim enough points to condemn both Newcastle United and Norwich City to a place in the Championship.

Now, the task for Allardyce is to strengthen the Black Cats’ squad and work towards establishing the club as a regular in the top half alongside the likes of Southampton and Stoke City.

Sunderland have plenty of room to strengthen this summer, and one area in need of attention is in defence, with Kelly believed to be a target.

Kelly, 26, joined Palace from Liverpool in 2014 and went on to make 31 Premier League appearances in his debut season, yet this past year he has been on the periphery of Palace’s first-team.

The one-time capped England international made just 11 league starts with most of his appearances coming as a right-back, despite having the ability to play in any position across the back four.

With Kelly’s contract expiring in the summer of 2017, perhaps Sunderland could get him below his valuation now as the Eagles may not want to risk losing him for free in 12 months time.

In other news, Motherwell confirm Newcastle target Mark Gillespie has left the club