Chuba Akpom’s contract dawdling at Arsenal has alerted several Premier League clubs to his availability this transfer window.
A product of the Gunners’ esteemed academy, the 19-year-old is regarded as an excellent prospect but won’t commit his long-term future to the north Londoners until he receives assurances over his chances in the first team.
Clubs as reputable as Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund have been linked with a move for the youngster in the summer, but Sunderland have emerged as candidates to lure him away from the Emirates today.
The seriousness of their candidacy, however, has been called into question by the bwin odds gurus, who go 5/1 about him signing on at the Stadium of Light before tonight’s 11pm deadline.
While fending off an array of glamorous suitors will be a difficult task for Premier League strugglers Sunderland, who are 6/1 to be relegated, Gus Poyet’s men have a crucial bargaining chip that could convince Akpom to move to Wearside.
The promise of more minutes on the pitch will certainly appeal to the former Bradford loanee, whose lightning pace looked especially threatening during his cameo appearance in Arsenal’s 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa last time out.
Having encountered many blockages on his route to the Arsenal starting line up, Akpom is sure to experience similar issues at places like Liverpool, rendering such a switch largely pointless.
Forever frugal Arsene Wenger won’t be able to resist a cash offer today for a player who will leave for nothing in the summer, so if the youngster has indeed voiced his decision to depart upon the expiration of his current deal, a January move is anything but out of the question.