Sunderland are still ‘negotiating’ a deal with Zorya Luhansk for midfielder Nazariy Rusyn with the Championship outfit reportedly paying up to £2.5 million.

Following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Preston North End – another game in which the Black Cats performed well but came away with nothing – manager Tony Mowbray made no secret of his desire to add another centre-forward to his squad in the final two weeks of the window.


Nazariy Rusyn received his debut call-up to the national team of Ukraine!  The forward will replace Roman Yaremchuk (May 29, 2023) —

“I think the reality is that we have to get the front end of the pitch sorted out first,” Mowbray told the Northern Echo; Sunderland still without the talismanic Ross Stewart and having lost Joe Gelhardt following the expiry of his loan deal in the off-season.


Luis Hemir, at just 20, was brought in not as a first-team starter but as one for the future. Bradley Dack, meanwhile, is far from a natural number nine. It’s telling that, during that narrow defeat at Deepdale, Dack would often drop deep to pick up possession, therefore leaving a massive gap in the frontline.


A gap Nazariy Rusyn could fill.


Sunderland turn to Nazariy Rusyn to solve striker problem

Sunderland have reportedly turned to Rusyn after missing out on the likes of Zan Vipotnik and Matija Frigan. The former Ukraine U21 international scored 13 goals and set up six in 30 games for Zorya Luhansk in 2022/23. And it is believed that Sunderland could stump up £2.5 million to bring him to the Stadium of Light (Football24).


Oleksandr Svatok, Artem Gordienko and Maksym Lunyov of FC Zorya... News Photo - Getty Images

“As far as I know, Zorya is currently negotiating with Sunderland for Nazariy Rusyn,” explains Ukrainian reporter Volodymyr Zverov.


There is, however, some work to be done before Rusyn is posing for photos in red and white stripes.
“These negotiations do not reach a dead end. (But) Sunderland offers one price, and Zorya wants another,” Zverov adds.

Rusyn’s unavailability for the weekend’s 2-1 win at Vorskla Portava did little to dampen the speculation. Though Zverov insists that his absence was down to a thigh injury rather than anything more cryptic.

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