Sunderland are reportedly in talks to sign Baku Sabah defender Bahlul Mustafazade in January.
According to Azerbaijani website azerisport.com, Phil Parkinson is interested in signing the 22-year-old in January and preliminary negotiations are underway over a potential move.
The League One club may face some serious competition for the centre-back, however, as it is understood that there are Bundesliga, Premier League, and Championship clubs also interested.
Should Sunderland sign Bahlul Mustafazade in January?
Sabah’s president Magsud Adygezalov has indicated that there has not yet been an official proposal but that the club would consider any interesting offers.
With that in mind, we have highlighted one winner and one loser if Sunderland are able to get the deal done.
Winner: Lee Burge
Prior to picking up a recent minor injury, Burge had established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper at Sunderland–starting in Parkinson’s first three League One games.
Only Southend United, who have conceded 48 goals already this season, have kept fewer clean sheets than Sunderland in the third flight of English football.
Adding a new centre-back, who appears to be attracting attention from some top-flight sides, would likely strengthen the defensive unit, which would be good news for Burge.
Loser: Tom Flanagan
Mustafazade’s arrival would likely mean that the 28-year-old slid further down the pecking order at the Stadium of Light.
The Northern Irishman joined the Black Cats from Burton Albion in the summer of 2018 and was a regular fixture in Jack Ross’ side last season–making 42 appearances and playing every minute of their play-off run.
However, summer signings Joel Lynch and Jordan Willis appear first choice this season and Flanagan has made just four appearances in League One–with the last of those coming in September.
The centre-back’s current deal is set to expire next summer, so you feel this signing could spell the end of his Sunderland career.