Niall Quinn’s Sunderland have made a triple swoop for Irish internationals John O’Shea, Darron Gibson and Keiren Westwood – but O’Shea is not keen on the switch from Manchester United.
The Irish defender appears to be part of a summer clear-out by Old Trafford boss Alex Ferguson after his team’s abject failure to match Barcelona in the Champions League final last month.
O’Shea, currently on holiday after helping Ireland to a 2-0 win in Macedonia last Saturday, wants to stay with the Premier League champions.
He has intimated to friends that he will only consider a move away from Manchester United to a team with real title ambitions.
Sunderland – who have just sold young midfielder Jordan Henderson to Liverpool for $30million – don’t fall into that category.
The Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn wants to re-invest that Henderson fee in his first team squad and has tabled the $20million move for United trio O’Shea, Gibson and England defender Wes Brown.
Manager Steve Bruce has also made an offer to Keiren Westwood, currently available on a free transfer after his contract at Coventry City expired.
Bruce, a former Manchester United captain, wants to conclude the moves for Gibson and O’Shea before the end of the week.
Sunderland chairman Quinn said: “We know the areas that need strengthening and the type of player we need in order to progress, and the job of bringing those players to the club is continuing at a pace.”
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will keep a close eye on Sunderland’s bid to sign the Irish trio.
He has already told Gibson to get away from Manchester United in a bid to play regular first team football – but that was before Gibson snubbed Ireland’s recent games against Macedonia and Italy.