Sunderland have failed to reach an agreement with Wolverhampton Wanderers for Matija Sarkic as free agent Remi Matthews heads to the Stadium of Light instead, according to the Northern Echo.
With the Black Cats under pressure to replace the finest goalkeeper in League One, Scotland international Jon McLaughlin, they have identified two very different shot-stoppers from two very different backgrounds.
On one hand, Matthews is a proven lower league ‘keeper who has represented Plymouth, Doncaster, Burton and Bolton Wanderers in the third tier.
At 26, the free-agent is not short of experience either with Phil Parkinson, during their time together at Bolton, labelling him a player with ‘real quality’.
Sarkic, on the other hand, has never played a single league game in English football. The Montenegro international may be just three years younger than Matthews but, when it comes to League One expertise, there is only one winner.
And, according to the Echo, Sunderland are closing in on Matthews, turning to the one-time Norwich youngster after failing to agree terms with Wolves over a short-term agreement for Sarkic.
It remains to be seen why the talks between Wolves and Sunderland hit and impasse.
After all, chairman Jeff Shi admitted to Wolves’ official website that Sarkic would be sent out on loan after he had completed his move to Molineux from Midland neighbours Aston Villa.
The youngster shone during a spell at Livingston in 2019/20 and, with Rui Patricio and John Ruddy sticking around, he would benefit from some guaranteed playing time.