O’Neill preparing bid for Fulham striker

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill is weighing up the possibility of bringing Fulham striker Andy Johnson to the Stadium of Light before the end of January.

According to reports the new Black Cats chief is eager to add an experienced Premier League to his strike force at the Stadium of Light with Bolton’s Kevin Davies the man supposedly in the Irishman’s sights. However it’s emerged that Johnson has been earmarked as O’Neill’s prime target as he attempts to strengthen his attacking options on Wearside.

Despite seeing his side improve in front of goal during his first month in charge the Irishman is concerned that strikes Nicklas Bendtner and Connor Wickham don’t find the net regularly enough. Wide midfielder Sebastian Larsson is the clubs top scorer with six goals and O’Neill is keen to add a quick forward to play off Bendtner or Wickham.

Fulham boss Martin Jol is reluctant to part with the one time England striker and displayed his desire to keep him at Craven Cottage by rejected a bid from struggling Blackburn. However with Johnson’s current contract expiring in the summer and negotiations at a standstill Jol may opt to sell him instead of losing him on a free.

With only five days remaining before the transfer window closes O’Neill will need to move swiftly if he is to wrap up a deal for the former Crystal Palace and Everton striker. It’s thought Fulham would be receptive to a bid of £3 million or more should Sunderland choose to try prise Johnson, who won eight caps for his country between 2005 and 2007, away from the Thames.

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