By Pranav Shahaney

11th Jan, 2023 | 3:10pm

Sunderland enter race to sign Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt

Sunderland have reportedly entered the race to secure the services of Leeds United striker Joe Gelhardt in the January transfer window.

According to Leeds All Over [10 January], the Black Cats want to sign a number nine this month and Gelhardt could be loaned out by Leeds should they sign Georginio Rutter.

However, Sunderland will have to beat off competition to secure his services with Swansea as well as Wigan linked with a move for the 20-year-old.

Makes sense

Gelhardt’s only 20 and has already shown plenty of promise for the Leeds hierarchy to be assured of his status as a first-team regular.

However, he’s still extremely raw as a player and cannot be trusted to lead the line for Leeds week in and week out and continually be an impact sub.

With Rutter’s arrival and assuming everyone is fit, Gelhardt would be pushed to being fourth or fifth choice and that will severely reduce his game time.

Sunderland are in the Championship and fighting for promotion and would certainly benefit from having the youngster in their ranks.

If he can have a good second half of the season and fire them into the play-offs, his confidence will certainly be on a high.

He could also then realistically be a legitimate option for the first team next season as there isn’t too much left for him to reach that level.

In other Leeds United, the Whites are closely involved in the bidding for an international player and are even prepared to spend £14million to secure his services.