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Welbeck injury highlights striker crisis

By ESPN Staff

Keano clear-out continues with strikers exit

Sunderland have accepted bids for strikers Jon Stead and Chris Brown from unnamed clubs.

Stead was heading for talks today after the club were given permission to speak to the player - just a day after manager Roy Keane clinched the £2million signing of Irish teenager Anthony Stokes from Arsenal.

Stead, 23, has been on loan at Derby for the last three months after a disappointing spell at the Stadium of Light during which he scored only two goals in 39 appearances following his £1.8million switch from Blackburn in June 2005.

Manager Roy Keane said: 'Last night I gave permission to both players to speak to clubs.

'We have accepted bids on those two so progress is being made. Obviously, I do need to balance the squad and try to balance the books.'

Keane was giving little away about the destination of either player, although he confirmed the Rams were not the club talking to Stead.

He said: 'It is not Derby. They made a bid last week which was turned down, but we accepted a bid last night from another club.

'I spoke to Jon last night after training and he has gone for talks.'

Meanwhile, midfielder Tommy Miller's chances of a permanent move to Preston, where he has been on loan, are ongoing.

Keane revealed he and North End boss Paul Simpson have spoken, but there is still ground to be covered.

He said: 'We keep missing each other. IWe spoke about Tommy last week and I told him to come back to me and put some sort of package together if they want to speak to Tommy. I have left that with him.'