By Richard Parks
Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole is the joint-most likely player to join Leeds United this summer, according to Football Whispers.
The football site claim the midfield anchorman, 30, has a strong chance to remaining in the Championship at the Yorkshire giants in the wake of the Black Cats’ relegation.
Sunderland were sent down on Saturday following their 2-1 defeat at home to relegation strugglers Burton Albion, a match in which Cattermole played the full 90 minutes.
Football Whispers, which gathers all transfer rumours across the globe and calculates the likelihood of them happening, rates it 3.1 out of 5 that Cattermole will join Leeds, with five the highest possible ranking and meaning it is a certainty.
He is joint-top in the rankings with QPR defender Nedum Onuoha (3.1) and ahead of Burnley striker Sam Vokes (2.9) and Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton (2.7).
Football Insider verdict:
Cattermole has a contract at Sunderland that runs until 2021, but it is difficult to see such a high earner remaining, or being willing to play League One football next season. The midfield enforcer is not everyone’s cup of tea but he is a grizzled competitor who never gives less than his best, and his experience and nous in the central acres could be a good complement next season to the energy of Ronaldo Vieira and the class of Adam Forshaw. Leeds have certainly been found wanting in that position this season, and Cattermole has a track record that demands respect, including 272 Premier League appearances. No United player has anywhere near that level of experience in a top league, either in England or overseas.