STEVE BRUCE will instruct chairman Niall Quinn to do everything he can to persuade Hull’s Michael Turner to move to Sunderland after paving the way for Danny Collins to depart.
Hull boss Phil Brown confirmed over the weekend that he expects his £10mrated centre-back to leave before the transfer window closes at 5pm tomorrow.
Sunderland, also looking to pay £5m for Wigan’s Maynor Figueroa, are just one of a number of clubs hoping to lure him away from the KC Stadium.
Aston Villa, Liverpool and Fulham have all been credited with an interest and Bruce accepts that the deal for the Tigers defender is not a done deal - yet.
What his interest in Turner does prove, though, is that the Sunderland manager is keen to make changes to his backline, even if it means offloading fans’ favourite Collins.
The 27-year-old had talks with Stoke over a £2m move after Saturday’s defeat and a deal is likely before the deadline.
Bruce, who expects renewed interest in Nyron Nosworthy from Portsmouth, said: “The Michael Turner thing keeps on rearing its head and we have got a bit of work to do on it. But the last thing I want to be doing with people who have served the club so well is push him out the door so I’ve left the decision up to him.
“I think Danny Collins accepts that’s football. I don’t know. It is up to him. It was a bit of a shock. The bid just came out of the blue. We have given him permission to talk but if he doesn’t go we’ll take him back.
“I understand there has been a lot of surprise about it. He is a popular lad. I have to make decisions which I believe are the best for the football club and try to move on and make those big decisions. You hope to be judged next summer or the summer after, not after six games.”
Ipswich’s hopes of pulling off a double deal for Grant Leadbitter and Carlos Edwards remain in the balance, with further discussions likely today.
The uncertainty surrounding incomings and outgoings could easily be used as an excuse for Sunderland’s defeat at Stoke, although goalkeeper Craig Gordon was in no mood to use it having learned that England No 1 David James has been linked with the Black Cats.
“The names mentioned coming in happens at every club, it is no different to every other transfer window when we have had lots of signings and transfers, we can’t use that as an excuse,” said Gordon, aware that Egyptians Ahmed Al-Muhammadi and El Sayed Hamdi are also expected to head for Wearside.
“We didn’t perform to what we are capable of and we got beat. We have to learn to live with the expectations this season.
“We had enough effort but the quality was not what we hoped for. We should have been able to stand up to them and stand our corner but we didn’t. But the games we have coming up are winnable games for us, to try to get some points on the board nice and early so we can out ourselves up there in contention. We want to get back to winning games in our next game.”
Sunderland’s three Premier League fixtures in September are against Hull, Burnley and Wolves and after having to deal with ten Stoke corners and 12 long throws from Rory Delap, Gordon does not think he will face a similar challenge this season.
“That’s the busiest game I’ve ever had in terms of balls coming into our box,” said Gordon. “We had to be big and strong to deal with that, and on the one occasion we didn’t deal with it, we were punished.
“When you go to Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool, you expect to get peppered, but not in the same manner. The top four teams will try to open you up and take you apart, but Stoke like to launch it into your box and see if you can handle it.”
Sunderland will face Birmingham at the Stadium of Light in the third round of the Carling Cup in the week beginning Monday, September 21.