Bruce rubbishes Kirkland talk

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has dismissed claims he has made a £5m bid for Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has dismissed claims he has made a £5m bid for Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland.

The 49-year-old has been linked with several goalkeepers in recent weeks, although insisted last month that with Marton Fulop, Craig Gordon and Trevor Carson on the books at the Stadium of Light, he would not looking for recruits in that department.

However, that has not stopped speculation over Fulop’s future on Wearside, and therefore Bruce’s potential need to find a replacement.

The manager told the Sunderland Echo: “Talk of me bidding £5m for Chris Kirkland is garbage, but he is a very good goalkeeper and I’m a big, big admirer of him.

“Some of the players I have been linked with have been ridiculous, but you come to expect that in January and there’s nothing we can do about that.

“What I will say is that we are working on one or two things and hopefully we can see them progress.”

Bruce moved last week to play down speculation that he could be prepared to offload striker Kenwyne Jones, although it is understood that the Black Cats might be prepared to do a deal at the right price with Birmingham, Stoke and Liverpool among those clubs thought to be monitoring his situation.

Sunderland have spoken to Schalke frontman Kevin Kuranyi, who is out of contract at the end of the season and was today touted as a possible target for Chelsea, but are yet to strike a deal, and they have an interest in Liverpool’s Ryan Babel.

Their pursuit of Wigan full-back Maynor Figueroa dates back to the summer and is ongoing, although they are determined not to pay over the odds.

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