Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is planning a January swoop for Brighton duo Liam Bridcutt and Leonardo Ulloa, as the Blackcats battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
And it is understood that Poyet will make a bid for the Seagulls pair, who are currently flying high in the Skybet Championship table, with Oscar Garcia’s men looking to mount another charge up the league table into an automatic promotion spot.
Bridcutt, 24, was signed by Poyet from Chelsea in 2010 and has established a reputation as one of the most highly-rated playmakers outside the Premier League.
Ulloa signed for the Sussex club in the July of this year, and has been a stand out performer for the impressive Seagulls so far, netting 13 goals in 28 League games, and Poyet believe the lure of the Premier League may convince Bridcutt to join the fight against relegation.
Bridcutt attracted interest from newly promoted sides Crystal Palace and Hull City, aswell as Championship side Nottingham Forest, but rumours are that Poyet will test Brighton’s willingness and submit a bid to the Sussex side.
Poyet is certain to face opposition from Brighton following his acrimonious sacking from the Championship club in June for alleged gross misconduct.
Brighton manager Oscar Garcia is to slap a £5 million price tag upon the pair, as Albion are on the brink of the play off positions.
But Poyet is determined to make changes to his squad as he battles to avoid relegation, with a left-back and striker also top priorities.
“My aim all the time is to do things quickly in January,” he said. “We’re having meetings practically every day and we’re getting close to January now.
“January 1 is a Wednesday, it’s not on the weekend, so if there are not any problems with bringing them in from abroad, they could be signed that day.”
The Weirside club travel to inform Everton in the boxing day clash tomorrow.
By Ben Reardon