Black cats eyeing McKenzie

Championship strugglers Sunderland are tracking Norwich City's unsettled striker Leon McKenzie. Reports in the North East suggest Black Cats' chairman/manager Niall Quinn had identified McKenzie as one possible option to pep up his shot-shy attack.

Championship strugglers Sunderland are tracking Norwich City's unsettled striker Leon McKenzie. Reports in the North East suggest Black Cats' chairman/manager Niall Quinn had identified McKenzie as one possible option to pep up his shot-shy attack.

Quinn promised a mass clear out after the Wearsiders sunk to rock bottom following Saturday's 3-1 reverse at Southend.

Canaries boss Nigel Worthington dismissed the latest speculation yesterday - insisting the club had received no fresh bids for the 28-year-old.

Championship rivals Coventry had a second improved offer rejected on Friday. The Sky Blues' initial interest appears to have cooled with Micky Adams eyeing up a £1m move for Sheffield United's Ade Akinbiyi among a host of other players.


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“There's been no further interest in Leon since the weekend,” confirmed Worthington. “The simple fact is that we have put a price on Leon and if we get that price we'll sell him. Until that is the case, Leon McKenzie is a Norwich player.”

Worthington reiterated his tough stance by revealing McKenzie had rejoined the squad after the pair's public fallout on the eve of Saturday's trip to Derby.

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“Leon trained with us and trained very well,” he said. “As far as I am concerned he is in contention for the league cup tie at Torquay.”

McKenzie declined to travel to Pride Park amid claims he was asked not to train with the rest of the first team on Friday.

“I decided then that it would not be the best idea if I travelled,” he said. “This is not a case of sticking two fingers up at the club. I love the fans and have enjoyed my time here, but I have to try and look after myself and my family - that is all this is about.

“I hope people make up their own minds about the situation and I can say it is a bit deeper than some people are making out.”

Black Cats supremo Quinn has six current bids on the table for reinforcements after a dire start to his Stadium of Light reign.

The Irishman has been strongly linked with former Celtic wide man Didier Agathe and old boy Kevin Phillips. The Wearsiders also ran the rule over Sengalese striker Moussa N'Diaye on international duty last week as Quinn searches for a pacy attacker to dovetail with bustling targetmen Daryl Murphy and Jon Stead.

“Some of my players are simply not good enough and have no future at this club,” he said. “We will sweep out the dead wood this week. It's become glaringly obvious that I have to take drastic action.

“I need new players as a matter of urgency and I hope to have some in the next few days. We have put our arms around the players - encouraged them and tried to help them since I took over. But enough is enough. We have got to stop the rot - too many are simply not good enough and have no future here.”

Scottish international Kevin Kyle is primed for a swift exit with Coventry and Stoke leading the chase.

Adams has also been linked with Maltese international striker Michael Mifsud, Ipswich midfielder Darren Currie and Tottenham back up keeper Marton Fulop after pocketing the initial down payment from Gary McSheffrey's big money transfer to Birmingham.

“We are in no rush to sign someone before the transfer window closes,” he said. “We do have funds available but the kitty is far less than £4m. If we need to we'll get someone in on loan and spend the money in January.”

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