Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Are Not Big Enough for Edin; Dzeko Is Not Keen on Cats Transfer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Are Not Big Enough for Edin; Dzeko Is Not Keen on Cats Transfer

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner Sports Writer @StuRayner

SUNDERLAND'S willingness to spend big to sign a proven Premier League striker is unlikely to be enough to attract Edin Dzeko back to England.

The Bosnian is the latest player linked to the Stadium of Light as Sam Allardyce targets someone to ease the goalscoring burden on Jermain Defoe. The 33-year-old was the club's top scorer last season with 15 Premier League goals. The next best return was Fabio Borini's five.

As with West Ham United's Diafro Sakho and Swansea City's Andre Ayew, Dzeko's club are holding out for more money than Sunderland are prepared to pay. Even if that can be resolved, the indications from Italy are Dzeko would not be prepared to move to the North East.

Roma paid around PS14m to make Dzeko's loan from Manchester City permanent and are unwilling to take a loss on the player despite his disappointing return of 10 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions in his debut season.

That puts him in a similar price bracket to Sakho and Ayew.

Wages of around PS140,000 a week and Dzeko's age - 31 - have not put Sunderland off but their bid was around PS11m.

Even if the Black Cats meet Roma's asking price, however, Dzeko is believed to have told coach Luciano Spalletti he is only prepared to leave for a big-name club.

Since 2009, Dzeko has only spent one season out of the Champions League, playing Europa League football for City in his first campaign. Roma have qualified for the play-off round of next season's competition.

Turkish club Besiktas, who have qualified direct for next season's competition but still may not be considered a suitably big club by Dzeko, have also been linked, as have West Ham, who will host Europa League football at the Olympic Stadium.

City paid PS27m to bring him from Wolfsburg in 2011 but he was forever on the fringes at Eastlands.

Despite that, he scored 50 goals in 130 Premier League appearances.

Frustrated at his lack of opportunities, Dzeko initally joined Roma on a season-long loan for 2015-16, which became permanent in October after triggering the deal's performancerelated clauses. …

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