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James Hunter

Sunderland still pushing to sign Leeds United's Joe Gelhardt on loan

Sunderland are still in the running to sign Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt on loan with Blackburn Rovers also vying for his signature. The 20-year-old had appeared last week to be on the verge of a loan move to Wigan Athletic - the club where he started his career - but nothing has been finalised.

And with the Latics propping up the Championship and floundering in a relegation battle, the prospect of a return to the DW Stadium may not seem so appealing to Gelhardt, nor to his employers at Elland Road. Instead, Sunderland and Blackburn are among a pack of clubs challenging for the play-offs and it is likely that Leeds would prefer to see Gelhardt playing at a club riding high in the table where he is more likely to get goalscoring chances.

Sunderland are keen to bring in at least one striker before the transfer window closes on Tuesday, as they currently have no competition or cover for top scorer Ross Stewart. At the beginning of the month Everton recalled Ellis Simms from his loan stint on Wearside, and there remains a chance that he could return to Sunderland.

READ MORE: Sunderland backed for play-off push by former star as Ross Stewart warning issued

However Black Cats head coach Tony Mowbray has said more than once that Sunderland cannot rely on Everton allowing Simms to go out on loan again and they must continue to chase other targets as well. As for Blackburn, they need to bring in a striker after Leicester City opted to recall George Hirst from his loan stay at Ewood Park, and the Foxes have since allowed him to join League One promotion-chasers Ipswich Town on loan.


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