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One in, one out? Sunderland linked with double summer transfer move – including £20m deal

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Sunderland defender Dan Ballard has emerged as a potential transfer target for Premier League side Everton, sparking speculation about his future. Despite this, the Black Cats are reportedly eyeing reinforcements in the center-back position for the upcoming summer window.

Having established himself as one of the Championship’s most promising young center-backs since his arrival at Sunderland from Arsenal a year and a half ago, Ballard’s long-term commitment to the club, evidenced by his signing of a contract extension until 2027 last summer, ensures that Sunderland’s transfer chief Kristjaan Speakman is well-positioned to handle any potential bids.

Given Ballard’s contractual situation and his integral role within the team, Sunderland are anticipated to demand a fee in the region of £20 million for his services, representing a significant profit from his £2 million transfer fee in 2022, although potential add-ons owed to Arsenal may factor into negotiations.

Ballard’s absence due to accumulation of 10 yellow cards will see Jenson Seelt likely stepping in, with Luke O’Nien also facing suspension if he receives one more booking.

On the incoming transfer front, Sunderland has been linked with 21-year-old Manchester United defender Will Fish, who also operates as a center-back and could potentially serve as Ballard’s long-term successor should he depart. However, competition for Fish’s signature is expected, with Championship rivals Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town also expressing interest. Despite the strong ties between Kieran McKenna, Michael Carrick, and Manchester United, Sunderland has a history of successful dealings with the club, having secured the signings of Nathan Bishop and Amad in recent windows.

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