Sunderland close on Fletcher
Wolves ready to sell star striker
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo. Last Updated: August 20, 2012 4:04pm
Steven Fletcher: Wolves striker is a long-term transfer target for Sunderland
Sky Sports understands Sunderland are close to finally striking a deal with Wolves for Steven Fletcher.
Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill has made a new striker one of his top priorities, but has been frustrated in his attempts to bring in his targets.
Wolves have rejected several bids from the Wearside outfit for Fletcher as they failed to meet their valuation for the former Burnley man.
However, it is understood the Molineux club have softened their stance and are now ready to let him move on as they seek to draw a line under the saga.
Fletcher handed in a transfer request last month as he seeks to secure a move away from Wolves following their relegation from the Premier League.
The striker missed Saturday's defeat to Leeds and he is again likely to be absent from Tuesday's home clash with Barnsley as Sunderland look to push through a deal to bring him to the Stadium of Light.
O'Neill had hoped to bring in reinforcements ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener against Arsenal, which finished as a goalless draw.
Louis Saha and Carlos Cuellar have arrived this summer and made their debuts at Emirates Stadium, but O'Neill still plans to be busy over the next couple of weeks before the window shuts.
"We would have liked to have had some players in before the Arsenal game, but that did not happen," he said.
"We have a lot of spirit about us, but lack quality in some positions. We need some better attacking options."
O'Neill added: "It has been slow, perhaps people's attentions have been elsewhere with a fantastic Olympic Games, but maybe now there might be that bit of movement.
"Maybe some of us were waiting for bigger teams to move, then we pick up, but I should not really concern myself with what other clubs are trying to do, because I am trying to do the best for us."
O'Neill was reluctant to discuss his interest in Fletcher, but the manager knows that he cannot rely solely on Saha, despite being impressed by the Frenchman's debut performance.
"Fletcher has been one of the players mentioned, but we need to strengthen because we need some help," he said.
"There were little moments where Louis Saha showed his class, but expecting a 33-year-old to come in and play X number of games for us is out of the question.
"I am hopeful we are able to do something."