Sunderland and their 24 points and 60 goals against have already been relegated. Even if they win their final three games, they would at best fall two points short of safety. And it appears that one Sunderland player has already begun to look for a new home, not that that’s how the rumour mongers are spinning it.
According to reports in the Telegraph that have since been picked up by all the usual suspects and then some, Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford could turn the Black Cats relegation into a £25M move to a side playing in Europe next season. Or if not that, then at least to West Ham or Everton.
The headliner sides being linked to him, though, are Arsenal and Liverpool and both Manchester City and United, with all four supposedly being interested in turning Pickford into their number one. Given the 23-year-old Pickford is a highly rated prospect, this isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
Given the supposed price tag, though, and the lengthy list of supposed suitors—not to mention that every journalist with ties to Liverpool at the very least has been insisting Jürgen Klopp plans to head into next season with Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius his two ‘kepeers—it’s hard to take the rumour seriously.
That lengthy list of suitors almost certainly points to Pickford’s agent being hard at work, trying to find a new Premier League home for the promising shot stopper. Alternately, given the talk of a £25M price tag, it could be that Sunderland are floating his name, trying to figure out if it would be worth selling him.
Transfer rumours almost always come from either the buying club, selling club, or—and this is most often the case—from the player’s representatives. And if Pickford is suddenly, with no build-up, being linked to four sides in the top six plus West Ham and Everton, it’s not those clubs who are putting his name out there.
The likeliest scenario is that there is interest in Pickford, likely from West Ham or Everton, and that either Pickford’s agent is trying to push them towards a deal or Sunderland is looking to force up the price they can demand. Liverpool interest, at least at this stage, is almost certainly being fabricated.