Have Portsmouth just left Sunderland free to sign Jayden Stockley?

Sunderland manager Jack Ross celebrates the draw during the Sky Bet League One match between Walsall and Sunderland at Bescot Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Walsall, United Kingdom.

League One title chasers Sunderland and Portsmouth have both been linked with January deals to sign Exeter City striker Jayden Stockley.

Jayden Stockley of Exeter City celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Sky Bet League Two match between Exeter City and Northampton Town at St James Park on November 17,...

With Jayden Stockley in the form of his life, it was only a matter of time before the Exeter City talisman started to attract interest from clubs higher up the Football League.

Stockley has scored 16 times in 24 League Two starts, including a hat-trick against Yeovil Town in December.

The Mirror (2 January, page 45) has reported that a Sunderland side who have been heavily tipped to sign a striker in January are battling League One title rivals Portsmouth for his signature.

 

And Jack Ross’ Black Cats appear to have been handed a major boost in pursuit of the 25-year-old Stockley.

Speaking to The News, Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has indicated that he could leave Sunderland free to sign one of the most prolific centre-forwards in English football right now.

Kenny Jackett, manager of Portsmouth looks on during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur U21 at Fratton Park on November 13, 2018 in Portsmouth, England.

"We haven’t made an approach for him (Stockley), he’s not one we are looking at,” Jackett said.

With a release clause of just £750,000 in his contract, Stockley could prove to be a bargain signing for a Sunderland side who are hoping to ensure their spell in the third tier of English football is a short one.

Sunderland are third in the table as things stand, seven points adrift of Portsmouth albeit with two games in hand.

Jayden Stockley of Exeter City in action during the Sky Bet League Two match between Exeter City and Northampton Town at St James Park on April 16, 2016 in Exeter, England.

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