Quinn admits Nugent is a target

 

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn admits the club will return to Preston after the European Under-21 Championship in an attempt to push home their interest in David Nugent.

Quinn was quick to dismiss reports that the Black Cats have already sealed a £6million swoop for the 22-year-old striker, who is being trailed by a series of Premier League clubs.

However, he confirmed they have made an approach and will follow that up when Nugent returns from international duty in Holland.

Quinn, unhappy that news of the club's interest had leaked out, said: "The truth is, he is one of a number of players we made enquiries about. We were told — and rightly so, as it turns out — that he is off out at a very important tournament for his country and when that tournament is over, Preston have asked us to get back in touch with them.

"That is as far as we had it. We were very surprised yesterday — I don't know who it suited. It certainly didn't suit Preston, of course it did not suit us for a story to break that we had bid and had bids accepted, that is not the case at all.

"We know as well there are a few other clubs involved. We seemed to be thrown out there as the ones who are going to sign him, but that's not true, I cannot confirm that at all. What I can confirm is we have made an inquiry and we will wait and see how the player feels after his tournament, and will the club be willing to sell?

"He is one of a number of inquiries we have made, though."

Everton have been consistently linked with a player who supported the club as a boy, although they are understood not to have made any move yet.

However, while Sunderland's interest is now a matter of record, Quinn revealed they are casting the net far and wide as he and manager Roy Keane attempt to strengthen the squad which claimed the Championship title against all the odds last season.

He said: "There are other players we are making progress with and we are in a similar type of position. It is still a little bit early for anything to be breaking, and it is good that hasn't come out.

"But to sign a player these days is a difficult, difficult thing. A lot of things have to fall into place and happen. We are working ever so hard for them to fall in a few other areas as well.

"But just to reiterate, we are not going to sign players for the sake of signing them, we are going to sign players Roy feels will make a huge difference and will wear the club colours with a pride the fans would be really happy about.

"A lot of work goes into getting all that kind of thing to fall into place, we don't just answer calls from agents and watch videos. That day has gone at Sunderland, we don't do that."