Sunderland boss Poyet plots raid for Brighton striker

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Gustavo Poyet’s ongoing mission to save Sunderland from Premier League relegation could see the Uruguayan manager ruffle a few feathers at former club Brighton and Hove Albion with a bid for former charge Leonardo Ulloa.

The Black Cats are 13/10 to go down and face an uphill task to survive having been bottom at Christmas, with only one team in the history of the Premier League avoiding relegation after being in that position over the festive period.

Their chances of remaining in the Premier League could be dented further this January with striker Steven Fletcher linked with a move away from the club this month.

And should the Scot opt to leave the Stadium of Light then Poyet could be forced to seek out a low-cost alternative, with one potential target being Brighton star Ulloa.

The Uruguayan left the Falmer Stadium under something of a cloud last year, amid reports that he had told players he could not guarantee he would stay at the club in the wake of their Championship play-off semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace, claiming that he had taken the team as far as it could go.

Despite the bitter nature of his departure though, Poyet could still broker a peace deal and move for the player, with the club’s hierarchy undoubtedly grateful to the 46-year-old for taking them from League One to the brink of the Premier League.

That could clear the way for a bid for the 27-year-old, who has notched up a solid 15 goals in 31 appearances for the Seagulls and would undoubtedly be tempted by a move up to the English top-flight and a reunion with the man who first signed him.

Having previously impressed in the Spanish top flight with La Liga minnows Almeria, the forward could prove a fruitful gamble for a Black Cats side quickly running out of options.

Question marks remain, however, as to whether Poyet and Brighton would be willing to put their differences aside for the sake of Sunderland’s survival bid.

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

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.