By Coral Barry
Sunderland are eyeing up a move for Leeds left-back Charlie Taylor, according to a report.
The 22-year-old missed just seven games in an impressive 2015-16 season in which he provided seven assists from his defensive position.
Taylor, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, is one of the many impressive youngsters to come through the Leeds academy in recent years and could well be the latest rising star to be sold.
The Chronicle claim that Sam Allardyce is desperate to avoid another relegation scrap next season and has been keeping tabs on Taylor’s situation at Leeds.
Owner Massimo Cellino has made it known in the past he is a willing seller for the right price with another Leeds academy graduate Sam Byram joining West Ham in January for £3.75million.
Sunderland conceded 62 goals last season in which they just managed to preserve their Premier League status and Taylor has been identified as the type of player that could help improve the Black Cats’ defensive problems.
It is said that although Allardyce has not earmarked the left-back position as a priority this summer, the Sunderland boss is concerned that Patrick Van Aanholt may need competition to keep him sharp.
The Dutchman had an excellent end to the campaign, but laboured early on in the season and Sunderland believe Taylor could provide an excellent back-up to Van Aanholt.
Taylor is entering the final year of his contract and could go for a similar fee as Byram did when he left in January.