Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Sunderland can sign a new striker for absolutely nothing from today onwards with Chanka Zimba set to leave Blackburn Rovers on a free.

Back in March, before the entire world was flipped upside down, the Black Cats were putting plans in place ahead of the summer transfer window.

A whole host of promising youngsters had flocked to Wearside for trial spells, hoping to earn a permanent contract at one of the biggest clubs in the lower leagues.

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And while Phil Parkinson won’t exactly have an endless supply of cash to spend in the off-season, some of Sunderland’s fresh-faced targets will be available for free from June 30.

Newcastle United announced the departure of goalkeeper Nathan Harker last week, shortly after U23 coach Elliot Dickman suggested that the talented shot-stopper could be offered a fresh start a few miles down the road on the banks of the Wear (Echo).

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And with Blackburn confirming that Zimba is also set to become a free agent with his contract running down, do not be surprised if the teenager is wearing red and white sooner rather than later.

Despite scoring eight times in 13 U18 matches for Blackburn in 2018/19, Rovers have opted against keeping Zimba at Ewood Park.

But after a trial spell at Sunderland in March, via LancsLive, he might have his next destination lined up already.

Only one member of Parkinson’s squad hit double figures in 2019/20, with Will Grigg, Charlie Wyke and Marc McNulty netting just 12 between them. A new striker, however inexperienced, will be well received.

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In other news, Report: Torino will sell Everton and West Ham target Ola Aina