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They only finished 19th last season but after Sven Goran-Eriksson’s shock arrival at Notts County, the Pies are among the favourites for League Two glory – will the Swede make a difference.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has confirmed he is interested in signing Marseille and Albania captain Lorik Cana.

The feisty midfielder, who turns 26 on Monday, is set to fly to Holland for talks with Bruce with the Wearsiders competing in the Amsterdam tournament.

Bruce, who has seen already had an attempt to buy Peter Crouch snubbed, told the Sunderland Echo: “He is captain of Marseille and captain of his country – he’s right up our street.

“I hate talking about other club’s players until things are all signed and delivered – you just have to look at what happened with the Peter Crouch deal.

“So we’ll just sit down with the lad and see how things progress.”

Bruce is also on the lookout for a new striker with Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh and Tottenham’s England international Darren Bent linked with moves to the Stadium of Light.

He added: “I had six people in mind. I have lost one of them, so I have had to look elsewhere in that sense, but generally I haven’t wavered too much on the people I was after.

“There is progress being made on transfers – the work going on behind the scenes is incredible.

“But it is a long, drawn-out process and the situation we find ourselves in is normal.

“Yes, it would be lovely to have all my signings concluded by now, but that hasn’t happened so far and it is a case of keeping a cool head because I know this club and what we are trying to do with it will be an attraction.”

They only finished 19th last season but after Sven Goran-Eriksson’s shock arrival at Notts County, the Pies are among the favourites for League Two glory – will the Swede make a difference.

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