Forever searching to bolster his stock of proven Premier League wingers, Sam Allardyce will pay whatever it takes to land Aaron Lennon from cross-capital rivals Tottenham.
Spurs are set for another busy summer behind the scenes with the club in the market for a new manager after dispensing with Tim Sherwood following last season’s conclusion.
Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino is the bookies’ favourite to land the post and is believed to keen on bringing Adam Lallana with him to White Hart Lane should he get the job with the 50/1 shots for next season’s title.
The arrival of yet more competition in the attacking midfield department could well spell the end of Lennon’s nine-year stint in north London and the Hammers are thought to be at the front of the queue for his services.
Standing not too far behind them and making one heck of a commotion, however, is Sunderland, who are hoping to barge their way past the east Londoners and convince the Leeds native to return to the north of England.
Exuding pace and trickery, Lennon is a player who has often underwhelmed on account of a questionable end product, yet Allardyce envisions him on the right and Stewart Downing on the left providing battering ram striker Andy Carroll with ammunition from all angles next term, increasing their potency in the final third.
The 27-year-old, however, isn’t much of a crosser according to his whoscored.com stats.
He whipped in a paltry 0.6 balls in for the Spurs strike force in the previous campaign, assisting a mere three goals.
The former Leeds man’s tendency to dribble before crossing may make him a better fit for Sunderland, who aren’t as one-dimensional in their attacking ambitions.
Fabio Borini flourished playing out wide in a front three under Gus Poyet, but the Italian wasn’t overly inclined to beat a man on the outside and lump a ball in the box.
His more direct approach of cut inside and shoot brought him seven top-flight goals though and the Black Cats could extract a similar haul from the apparently unwanted Spurs man.