Sunderland have left it late to bring in reinforcements during the January transfer window, but finally there has been a recruitment drive on Wearside.

The Black Cats have brought former Everton pair Bryan Oviedo and Darren Gibson to the north east for a combined £7.5million, as well as free agent Joleon Lescott – who arrived on a short-term deal.

But David Moyes, after covering his side’s defensive shortfalls, has now stressed the importance of bolstering his attacking options – labelling it as a priority.

The 53-year-old Scotsman told The Chronicle on Monday that Sunderland had placed a formal £7m bid for Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa, but that the offer had been turned down by the Foxes.

With the move for the 30-year-old Argentine now in doubt, the Stadium of Light hierarchy may have to look elsewhere to find their replacement for injured Victor Anichebe.

Southampton have agreed to sign Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini, according to The Express, which leaves current frontman Jay Rodriguez now fourth in Claude Puel’s pecking order – behind Shane Long and Charlie Austin.

The England international has struggled to maintain his place in the starting XI this campaign for the Saints, making only six starts in the Premier League, but he out-of-favour attacker would be a perfect fit for Moyes’ strugglers.

The creative-minded striker, who has netted five times this season, has the strength and attacking prowess to make an immediate impact, as well as the ability to consistently supply goal-machine Jermain Defoe.

With regular first-team football seeming more unlikely now for the 27-year-old, a guaranteed start may be enough to tempt Rodriguez to join the relegation scrap on Wearside.


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