Sunderland’s move for young Northern Irish defender Trai Hume could be hijacked by Championship side Stoke City, according to journalist Steven Beacom.
The 19-year-old right-back has been the subject of considerable transfer interest for months, but in the early days of the January transfer window it has looked like the Black Cats who were in pole position for the Linfield teen.
They still are and a deal is expected to be completed, but nothing is over the line just yet and the Potters could be set to make a play.
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Their manager Michael O’Neill is a former Northern Ireland international manager and right-back is an area the club are short at, with centre-back Ben Wilmot featuring there against Preston North End.
Hume has played 17 times for former Sunderland striker David Healy’s Linfield side this season, assisting two goals in the league and scoring three times – two of those coming in the last two matches.
Whilst Sunderland look to have this close to being over the line, it would be a sickener for them to lose out to Stoke at this point.
Hume seems like a very talented teenager and he would fill a problem position that the Black Cats have at right-back – providing Lee Johnson thinks he’s ready to step in straight away.
The Northern Ireland link with O’Neill at Stoke may turn Hume’s head but it now feels too late in the day to make a difference considering this has been in the pipeline for days and Hume was even present to see Sunderland smash Sheffield Wednesday last week.
All being well Hume should be a Sunderland player by the end of the week if not sooner to bring more competition down the right-hand side of the pitch.