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Sunderland silent over £8million Ferdinand bid

Sunderland boss Roy Keane is having to remain patient as he attempts to step up his interest in West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand.

The Black Cats were not commenting today on claims they have tabled an £8million offer for the 23-year-old centre-back after drawing a blank in their long-standing pursuit of Manchester United's Jonny Evans.

However, there have been reports that the two men have already met and that Ferdinand has promised the Irishman an answer within the next 48 hours.

Keane has been away from the club and it would be no surprise if that has involved an attempt to try to sell his vision for the club to the Peckham-born defender.

However, that could prove problematic with Ferdinand understood to have rejected the chance of a move to derby rivals Newcastle earlier this summer because of his unwillingness to leave the capital.

There have been suggestions that Tottenham could solve that problem by offering him a way out of Upton Park, although that was played down by sources in the south today.

The Londoners are in the market for defensive recruits after selling Younes Kaboul and Anthony Gardner this summer, but it is understood that Ferdinand's name is not currently on their wish-list.

Keane, of course, managed to persuade Spurs trio Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio to leave London for Wearside earlier this summer, and will hope for further success as he attempts to bolster his squad.

He was encouraged by the display his new-look side produced in their 1-0 home defeat by Liverpool on Saturday, although he freely admits that his recruitment drive is far from over.

Despite the positives at the weekend, the club's lack of firepower was abundantly clear with last season's leading scorer Kenwyne Jones sidelined by a knee injury.

The Black Cats have been warned off Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy as Paul Ince attempts to fight off approaches for several of his players, while they have also been linked with a move for Fulham's David Healy amid suggestions midfielder Dickson Etuhu could travel in the opposite direction.

Sunderland's need though is pressing - Daryl Murphy played as a lone striker for much of Saturday's game - with Jones likely to be missing for some time yet as he recovers from the injury he picked up in a collision with England keeper David James in June.


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