Sunderland locked in battle with Everton for Sam Byram
image source: Mirror

Sunderland have joined the January transfer race for highly-rated Leeds United youngster Sam Byram.  

High alert  

Byram has sparked a tug-of-war battle between the Black Cats and fellow Premier League side Everton as the £8 million rated player rejected a new deal from the Elland Road outfit.  

The versatile youngster, who can operate in either the right-back or right-midfield position, has been touted as one of the best young players in the second-tier of English football for quite some time and has been linked with many top teams as a result.

Next level  

The youngster has made it clear that he is looking to step up to the next level of top-flight football as soon as possible and with United currently wallowing in the bottom half of the Championship, it looks like a move seems to be the only option.  

Manager Steve Evans has made his stance on the situation very clear saying that if Byram doesn’t want to be at the club then he doesn’t “want him around” as he only wants players that want to be at the football club.  

Byron has aspirations that Leeds may not be able to help him reach. (Photo: Yorkshire Evening Post)
Byron has aspirations that Leeds may not be able to help him reach. (Photo: Yorkshire Evening Post)

Evans continued, saying that “there is no point” in him been a “bit-part player” so he plans to involve him “as long as he is here,” adding that Leeds will have “another go” in trying to get him to stay.  

However, he said that if Byram hasn’t accepted a deal by January, the club "have got to think” that someone is going to “come and buy him”.  

Swooping for hammers  

Sam Allardyce will be desperate to bring in some more recruits to help with the Wearside’s club relegation fight as they currently sit in 19th position, with Leeds' 22-year-old one of many linked.  

These rumours reinforce the ideas that Allardyce is looking to solidify his defence, and the fact that he currently only has three senior central defenders - John O’Shea, Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates, with Wes Brown currently injured - has seen Sunderland linked with West Ham United’s James Tomkins and James Collins.  

The 61-year-old could raid his old club in January with Tomkins rated at £10 million while Collins could be sold at a knockdown price as his contract runs out next summer.