Sunderland A.F.C. have submitted a loan offer to Udinese Calcio for highly-rated striker Czech Republic international striker Matej Vydra, Sky Sports understands.
A number of English Premier League clubs, including the likes of Crystal Palace and West Ham United, are reportedly keen on the Football League Championship Player of the Year, who scored 22 goals in 45 league appearances while on loan at Watford last season.
Vydra, who is also attracting interest from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, is currently valued at around £8 million by the Zebrette.
The 21-year-old talisman is currently the first choice striker for Czech Republic boss Michal Bílek.
“It is correct that Sunderland are interested, but they are interested in a loan at the moment. They don’t want to spend that money at the moment,” said Ondrej Chovanec.
“So it is an interesting club – but then Sunderland is always an interesting club in England.
“To work with Paolo Di Canio would be a good thing. I think he will probably end up coaching with one of the very top teams in England.
“The final decision is with Udinese Calcio and the owner Giampaolo Pozzo and there are a lot of clubs interested in this player.
“Matej is a quality player and a top player for them, so they will be looking for the best deal available. He can play in a top level and I think that is what he will be doing next season.”
In other news, Sunderland have completed the signing of Sweden Under-19 international winger David Moberg Karlsson from Allsvenskan side IFK Göteborg on a four-year deal for an undisclosed transfer fee.
Karlsson, a former centre-back, will give the Black Cats a much needed boost of attacking options ahead of next season.
Keep in mind, only Stoke City (34) and relegated Queens Park Rangers (30) scored fewer goals than Sunderland (41) in the Premier League in 2012/13.
Mertens to Napoli
The agent of PSV Eindhoven standout Dries Mertens, Soren Lerby, has confirmed the Belgium international is on the verge of joining Serie A side S.S.C. Napoli, according to Sky Sports.
Mertens, 26, joined PSV in a duo-deal, involving Holland international Kevin Strootman, from FC Utrecht for a bargain fee of €13 million in the summer of 2011, and has since established himself as one of the best players in the Dutch Eredivisie.
The 26-year-old winger had been linked with a bevy of European clubs, including Liverpool, in recent times.
“The lawyers are finalising the details, but we can say that Dries Mertens is now a Napoli player. By the weekend he should be ready to arrive in Naples,” Lerby told Radio Cre.
“Napoli are a very important club and they have been showing interest for some time. Benitez has given his approval and a deal has been completed.
“Mertens wants to enjoy a great season and take an important step in his career at a club with great history like Napoli.”
Mertens was the sixth top-scorer in the Eredivisie last season, having scored a team-high 16 goals for PSV, who netted an astounding 103 times as a team.