Sunderland best-placed to offer Man City exile a new home

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There two very easy predictions to make once Pep Guardiola was announced as the new Manchester City manager.

First, the Etihad Stadium outfit would likely be the ones to beat for the 2016/17 Premier League title and, secondly, Yaya Toure’s future at the club would be on borrowed time.

Through the opening five games that first estimate looks pretty solid with the Citizens retaining a 100 per cent record, and now the Toure saga is well and truly in full swing.

With the manager and the player’s agent trading verbal blows at will, there appears to be very little chance of the Ivorian midfielder playing for the two-time top-flight champions again.

As a result latest media reports indicate that the relationship between the 33-year-old and City will end as early as January which, if true, should have Sunderland licking their lips of a potential new arrival.

Admittedly the Black Cats would have to dramatically improve their current league position of 19th if they stand any hope of luring the four-time African Footballer of the Year further north.

But, what David Moyes’ side lack in competitive challenges at the right end of the table, they make up for with a ready-made void in their XI for the former Barcelona man.

Sunderland do not have a natural number 10 on their books, but that’s not to say they don’t want one.

Indeed, Moyes has even recently spoken about converting former Manchester United centre-half Paddy McNair into a support striker, so the benefits of signing one of the best in the position in his prime are obvious.

If guaranteed starts make up part of the criteria Toure considers when making his anticipated next move in January, then the Stadium of Light cannot be ruled out as a destination.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.