Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley has suffered a major injury, which will rule him out for at least 10 weeks of the new Premier league campaign. Even more than the injury, manager Paolo Di Canio will be worried about the player being sold. Bardsley has been linked with a move away from Sunderland in the last few weeks.

The likes of Fulham, Blackburn, and Newcastle United have been showing interest in the player. The transfer window is set to end in the next couple of weeks, and it looks like the player will stay at the Stadium of Light until January.

The defender certainly does not figure in the plans of the manager, but the club needed to sell him in order to raise money for new players. The defender has been training with the reserves in the last few weeks. He was also left out of the pre-season tour of the first team.

Instead, he was involved in the pre-season developed for the reserve team. The player has suffered a broken foot in the match against Bolton under 21s. He was forced to leave the field at half-time. This injury news, though, will come as good news for Newcastle United fans, who have not been happy with their club being linked with a Sunderland player.

Meanwhile, defender John O’Shea has hailed the presence of manager Di Canio, who has been unwilling to rest his players in the pre-season.

“We’ve put in a lot of graft and some of the pre-season performances have been really positive. The acid test comes when the ­Premier League starts, but hopefully this squad is better balanced than last year with better options. There is so much more competition for places,” said the former United defender. Sunderland’s first match of the season will be against Fulham at home.

Bruce wants Darren Bent and Phil Bardsley

Steve Bruce and Hull City are reportedly targeting two of Bruce’s former protégés in the form of Darren Bent and Phil Bardsley. The newly promoted Premier League club has already splashed the cash on several new signings ahead of the new season and has reportedly two more targets in their transfer shortlist that they are going for.

Bent is available for a measly fee after falling out of favor with Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and the presence of several strikers ahead of him in the pecking order and although Fulham and Newcastle United are also in the running for his signature, Bruce wants to use the trump card of his relationship with the player to bring him to the KC Stadium.

Bruce is ready to meet Villa’s £ 6 million valuation of the player who he sold to Villa for a whopping £ 24 million fee when he was the manager at Sunderland. His move will scupper any move that Newcastle United have made for the former England international and the only deterrent in the deal going through is the high wage demands of the player.

Meanwhile, Phil Bardsley is another player that is reportedly on the shopping list of the former Manchester United defender following the right back’s very public fall out with Sunderland manager Paolo di Canio. Bruce was the man who brought Bardsley to the Stadium of Light after he failed to make the grade at Manchester United and nurtured him before he was sacked.

And with Phil Bardsley himself announcing that there is very little chance of him staying on at the club, Bruce and Hull City find themselves in pole position to land the 30 year old Scotsman who has a reputation of being a fiery character and can be wound up very easily.