Davis set for Sunderland switch

SUNDERLAND are hoping to sign keeper Kelvin Davis today in a £1m move from Ipswich Town, writes Derek Davis.If Davis does agree to move, Tommy Miller is likely to join him this week, although his representatives are today due to hold talks with Leeds United.

SUNDERLAND are hoping to sign keeper Kelvin Davis today in a £1m move from Ipswich Town, writes Derek Davis.

If Davis does agree to move, Tommy Miller is likely to join him this week, although his representatives are today due to hold talks with Leeds United.

Discussions between Miller's agent and Sunderland have already been held and the midfielder will make his decision between Ipswich, Leeds and Sunderland during this week.

Blues chairman David Sheepshanks last night confirmed that the Black Cats had made a firm bid for Davis, but would not go so far as to say a deal had been agreed.


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He said: "I have had discussions with Sunderland chairman Bob Murray, but that is all I can say at the moment."

Once the board have confirmed the offer's acceptance, which it is expected to happen this morning, Davis will be allowed to hold personal talks with the Black Cats.

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Although Davis spent three weeks in the north-east on loan to Hartlepool while a Luton player in 1997, there is no guarantee he will want to move to Sunderland, and he may wait to see what other offers come in.

Sheepshanks said: "We have heard of interest from other clubs but there has been no formal approach for Kelvin by anyone else at the moment."

Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy returns from a 10-day break today and is keen to secure the services of a number of players including Davis, Miller and Blackburn striker Jon Stead.

Town are also poised to lose Darren Bent, with Charlton the most likely destination, although another club could still move in and try to take him.

Sheepshanks said: "We are aware of interest from more than one club and we have had offers for Darren, but as yet nothing has been accepted."

Any interest Sunderland had in Bent seems to have waned with the Mackems agreeing a £1.5m fee with Blackburn for Stead.

Out of contract Shefki Kuqi is also likely to be heading for the Premiership, with Blackburn leading the chase for his signature.

Although Town have done everything they can to try to keep Miller and Kuqi, offering two-year deals and decent wages at Championship level, the lure of top-flight football, and the inherent rewards that come with that, will be a major factor for both players.

Town have long since accepted that failure to go up would also cost them Bent, who was offered a contract extension on more than one occasion during the season but was advised by his agent Jonathan Barnett to hold fire until the summer.

With a year left on his current deal, and a desire to move up a level now rather than wait, it makes sense for Town to cash in on the England Under-21 star.

It is a similar situation with Davis, who has never expressed a wish to leave Town, but his good form over the past two years has made him a saleable asset.

The 28-year-old only has one year left on his contract and with two good keepers waiting in the wings, it makes sense for Town to make a sizeable profit.

His former club MK Dons also dip in, although not by as much as the 50 per cent figure inaccurately reported elsewhere.

Sheepshanks said: "Even though we don't have to sell players we have to consider all offers."

Even if Town recoup almost £4m for the duo, Joe Royle is not likely to have much to spend on replacements.

The Town manager has indicated he will be looking for free signings and has earmarked an out-of-contract striker, said to be 34-year-old Ashley Ward.

Marcus Stewart will not be rejoining Town from the Stadium of Light and, despite attempts by QPR among other clubs to hijack the deal, will sign for his boyhood heroes Bristol City.

Skipper Jim Magilton has been linked with a move as player/coach to Derby County, while Fabian Wilnis is the only Town player who has indicated he will sign his new deal before the players return on July 4.

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