Sunderland’s hopes of landing Utrecht’s increasingly-impressive forward Sebastian Haller rest on the club securing Premier League football next season, otherwise they risk losing out to Ajax.
The Black Cats came close to signing the 21-year-old in January, but declined to pursue a move, balking at Utrecht’s £6m asking price a little high for a man inexperienced to the demands of English football.
But the Wearsiders have kept their eye on the Dutch striker all season, and reports this week have claimed Sam Allardyce’s side will make another move for Haller should they book a place in the top tier next season.
Fabio Borini and 35-year-old Jermain Defoe are the only recognised and established strikers at the Stadium of Light, with Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher both out on loan.
After hitting 11 goals in 17 Eredivisie appearances last term, 6ft 2in Haller has continued to impress this season, bagging another 17 from 29 games.
Haller’s agent has all but confirmed his client will leave Utrecht this summer, and if Sunderland are consigned to Championship football next term, then Dutch giants Ajax will be handed a clear run at snapping up the forward.
“He (Haller) will leave this summer, that’s for sure,” Loic Gustan said.
“Haller has mapped out a path for himself and he won’t just join any club.
“He wants to join a stable club and a club that has the structure to play European football.”
Whichever league Sunderland find themselves in next season, it’s sure to be a busy summer on Wearside as they look to beef up their offensive options.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.