Sunderland target Town duo

PREMIERSHIP-bound Sunderland could be taking TWO Ipswich players up with them.And if Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy succeeds with both his Town targets, it will deprive the Blues of two men who between them scored 34 goals in the season just ended.

PREMIERSHIP-bound Sunderland could be taking TWO Ipswich players up with them.

And if Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy succeeds with both his Town targets, it will deprive the Blues of two men who between them scored 34 goals in the season just ended.

Town boss Joe Royle today refused to name the clubs chasing want-away 19-goal striker Darren Bent, but I understand one is definitely Sunderland.

And the north-east club are also favourites to sign out-of-contract midfielder Tommy Miller, who hails from nearby Hartlepool.

Royle said: “We have had two clubs showing an interest in Darren. There have been no bids as yet, but I feel they may be forthcoming in the near future.”

Leeds are also being linked with Miller, but it is more likely that he will be persuaded to join the club he followed as a youngster. Royle revealed: “I have spoken to Tommy and made him an offer, but he wants to speak to Sunderland and I fully understand that.

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“If, after speaking to them, he decides his future lies there I will reluctantly wish him well.

“Equally, however, I am still hoping that the promise of first-team football, which he has here, and a two-year contract, will make him think twice.”

But the double lure of playing in the Premiership and earning a salary to match that status is likely to influence a player who netted 15 times from midfield last season.

Meanwhile, Royle is looking for a quick response from out-of-contract trio Fabian Wilnis, Jim Magilton and top scorer Shefki Kuqi, who have all been offered new deals to stay at Portman Road.

Royle said: “You could call it a gentle ultimatum.

“All I have said to the players is that I will be pestering them for an answer if they haven't provided one in the next two to three weeks.”

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