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Sunderland are hoping to beat a number of rivals to the January loan signing of Arsenal starlet Joe Willock, Football Insider sources understands.
A number of clubs at home and abroad expressed an interest in taking the midfielder on loan in the summer and he is already in big demand when the transfer window reopens in January.
However, they face competition from several Championship and Dutch and French sides for England Under-20 international Willock.
Willock, who broke into the Arsenal first-team last season making 11 appearances in all competitions, is highly-regarded at the Emirates having come through the youth ranks at the club.
The 19-year-old has yet to feature in a game under Unai Emery, but he was on the bench for last week’s League Cup win over Blackpool.
In other north-east giants news, the big guns are in pole position to beat Leeds United to centre-forward signing.