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By ESPN Staff
Aug 24, 2005

England starlet Fryatt set for Premiership move?

Walsall boss Paul Merson expects Birmingham or Sunderland to make a bid for striker Matty Fryatt.

The England Under-19 international was left out of the Saddlers' defeat at Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup last night, but has scored 18 goals in just 30 league starts for the Midlands club.

Walsall turned down a bid of less than £500,000 from League One rivals Nottingham Forest recently - but Merson reckons the Premiership pair's poor early-season form could see them step up their interest in Fryatt, 19, before the transfer window closes on August 31.

'Matty is a natural goalscorer,' Merson said. 'He is young and he has potential, so it wouldn't surprise me if he leaves.

'Birmingham lost again, Sunderland lost again and so did Forest. It's the hardest thing in the world to put the ball in the net.

'I thought Forest's bid was quite close to his true value - especially in this day and age.

'But the closer we get to the window closing, the more I start to panic. If he goes just before the end of August, it will be a real problem for me to replace him quickly.'

Sunderland have lost all three of their opening Premiership matches, the latest defeat a 2-1 home reverse against Manchester City.

And Birmingham, beaten 3-0 at home by Middlesbrough last night, have only one point from three games.