Canaries Join Cats in Race to Sign Graham

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HUNTER

SUNDERLAND face competition from Norwich City in the race to race to sign PS5m-rated Swansea striker Danny Graham.

Martin O'Neill's interest in ex-Middlesbrough man Graham is well known and the Black Cats were first to approach the Welsh side with a formal offer before Norwich - managed by Chris Hughton - entered the chase last night with an offer.

Swansea are not ready to let Graham leave the Liberty Stadium until they have brought in a replacement, with Stoke City's Kenwyne Jones the man Brian Laudrup wants.

Swansea had a PS3m offer for ex-Sunderland man Jones rejected by the Potters this week, but the feeling is it was merely an opening gambit and they will return with an improved bid.

That means Sunderland and Norwich can only wait and hope Swansea and Stoke strike a deal or, failing that, Laudrup is able to bring in an alternative frontman this month.

O'Neill is desperate to strengthen his attacking options during the transfer window - and his need is greater than ever with Fraizer Campbell poised to become the second striker to leave Wearside this January.

South Korean flop Ji Dong-Won has already been farmed out on loan to German side Augsburg, while Campbell is on the verge of a move to Championship leaders Cardiff City.

Neither features in O'Neill's long-term plans.

Ex-Manchester United man Campbell had been strongly linked with a move to promotion-challengers Hull after a successful loan spell there while a Red Devil five years ago.

However, Cardiff look to have beaten the Tigers to it, with the 25-year-old understood to have held talks with Bluebirds' boss Malky Mackay this week.

Campbell's Wearside teammate Matt Kilgallon has posted a message on social networking site Instagram wishing him all the best at Cardiff.

Campbell has battled back from two serious knee ligament injuries but is out of contract at the end of the season and was unlikely to get a new deal.

If, as expected, Campbell does leave it will leave O'Neill with the still-inexperienced teenager Connor Wickham as his only backup for his first-choice frontman Steve Fletcher, which makes it imperative he brings in reinforcements.

O'Neill has already strengthened two problem positions this month, landing PS3. …