Who’s Crazier, The Person Starting These Carlton Cole Rumours Of Steve Bruce? Answers Please…

Carlton Cole: Is under Pullis's radar

West Ham striker Carlton Cole has been heavily linked with a move to Sunderland in a deal worth £15million. Steve Bruce looks to fill the void left by Kenwyne Jones and is unwilling to pay the £12million asked by Rennes for Gyan Asamoah.

Cole has reportedly been sought after by Liverpool and Stoke, and the Black Cats might as well join the race given their obvious need of a strike partner for Darren Bent. Bruce told The Daily Star:

“It’s absolutely paramount that I replace Kenwyne Jones, I’ve got to do it.

“We’ve got a couple of young lads in Danny Welbeck and Martyn Waghorn who will play their part, but they are young boys.

“I would not want to get to the end of the window without another striker here.”

Carlton Cole is big, gets a few goals here and there, and can be used as a target man. At almost double the price of what Steve Bruce has sold Kenwyne Jones for, fans must be thinking: ‘What’s the point?’

His goalscoring record must speak for itself; at 26 goals in 105 appearances it is certainly nothing to get excited about. It was also a record Jones matched in 96 appearances. But then again, Kenwyne Jones is a lazy player who fails to track back (such as strikers are supposed to do) and is then expected to be the first player up the pitch. If Sunderland fans didn’t warm to Kenwyne, I can’t wait to see their relationship with Cole.

Hodgson is ‘reportedly’ interested in recruiting the Londoner with the imaginary money he’s been given to spend. Of course, Cole would be a great signing for The Reds as they regularly play a 4-4-2 formation and the prolific striker will slot right in to join Torres up front ahead of N’Gog. Makes about as much sense as signing Brad Jones from Middlesbrough.

As for Tony Pulis’ side, they have two better strikers in Jones and Ricardo Fuller, and if they bothered to wake up and utilise him, Tuncay. The stature of Stoke City also gives Pulis an unlimited transfer budget, so they can just keep bringing in player after player without any thought of offloading the strikers that don’t fit with the managers plans.

Steve Bruce’s spending habits have come to quite an unprecedented halt. Having forged a decent ‘spine’ for his Sunderland team, many expected the ex-Wigan manager to go out and buy two or three quality players for this season. Instead he’s brought in about 3 or 4 that are relatively unheard of. Fulop, Cana and Jones have departed from Wearside, a long with those happy enough to sit in reserves receiving weekly wages such as Daryl Murphy, Nyron Nosworthy and Matthew Kilgallon, depite the last two only leaving on loan. This means that there has to be money available, surely?

Elis Short has always provided money to his managers, no questions asked. Now that the club looks like (with a few necessary additions to the squad) they can progress, he should be more willing than ever to financially back his manager. Balancing the books is fair and it’s sensible and it puts the club in a healthy position. With no intentional disrespect to Stoke City, they seem to be willing to take risks in the transfer market this season, yet Sunderland, with the aid of a billionaire owner, seem more concerned with removing players from the pay roll.

With the transfer deadline days away, the signing of Cole, if it isn’t just pure speculation created by the Daily Mirror, seems to be a panic buy.

Sunderland lost to a late West Brom goal on Saturday which saw Bruce’s side revert back to route one, which clearly didn’t suite the team given their lack of a target man.

Instead of paying for quality, it looks like Bruce will join the running trend of paying copious amounts for English players that aren’t worth anywhere near their price tag.

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