Sunderland have missed out on the chance to sign Malik Owolabi-Belewu this summer with the defender reportedly set to join Italian side SPAL.
Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson has made some significant changes to his squad this summer in what he hopes will help his side bounce back after a second failure to gain promotion from League One to the Championship.
Seven new faces have arrived through the door at the Stadium of Light with Morgan Feeney, Bailey Wright and Arbenit Xhemajli coming in to add some strength in depth in defence.
With the transfer window still open, Sunderland’s link to Owolabi-Belewu has now re-emerged but only alongside a claim that the defender is off to Italy.
The youngster is said to have also gained interest from the likes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Nice, Roma and Hertha Berlin.
Owolabi-Belewu was born in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States where he spent time with Toronto FC’s academy.
The report from AllNigerianSoccer also adds that he will pen a deal with SPAL until 2024 after undergoing a successful trial with the Serie B side.
The young defender has been much wanted, albeit through transfer reports, but it does seem that that interest could have just been gossip, considering he is set to move to the Italian second division.
Sunderland would have been a good place for him to further develop his football but playing time could have been a problem, given that the Black Cats have enough options at centre-back now.
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