Sunderland gearing up for great escape by targeting Croatia ace

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Sunderland chalked up their first three points of the Premier League campaign with a 2-1 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday, and the Black Cats could be set for another shot in the arm as they close in on the signing of Domagoj Vida.

The Croatian centre-back has been a key part of the Dynamo Kiev defence since joining from homeland heavyweights Dinamo Zagreb in 2012.

An intelligent player who is as comfortable on the ball as he is dominant in the air, the 27-year-old would be an ideal addition to a Sunderland defence who haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 11 games.

And with David Moyes’ men also the lowest scorers in the top-flight with just nine goals so far, adding a defender who’s already netted four times for his club in 2016 could well soften the Wearsiders’ defensive struggles.

Vida’s big-game experience also makes him an attractive option for a side who are under serious threat of losing their Premier League status, and could well reach the latter part of the season with a scenario where every game is a proverbial cup final.

Indeed, the Osijek native started three of Croatia’s games at Euro 2016, and has chalked up a wealth of Champions League experience, facing off against the likes of PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, and keeping some of the continent’s top strikers quiet in the process.

With less than two years remaining on his contract, the Kiev star could also be snapped up for a modest fee, with Transfermarkt.co.uk estimating his price tag at just £7.23m.

Sunderland look to be in pole position for his signature as we speak, with reports suggesting a move could be on the cards once the January transfer window swings open.

For now though, the Black Cats must focus on chalking up a first home league win of the season, with 11/10 for the Wearsiders to secure all three points against Hull City.

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

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.