O’Neill offers striker to sweeten Swansea deal

Martin O’Neill is preparing to offer Connor Wickham to Swansea in order to push through the transfer of Danny Graham, the Telegraph understand.

The Sunderland boss is desperate to sign Graham before the transfer deadline shuts up shop on Thursday evening, with a £5million feel thought to have been agreed with the South Wales club.

It’s believed the Gateshead-born frontman wants to return to the North East after struggling for game time at the Liberty Stadium this season, due to the impressive form of Michu, with personal reasons also being cited.

Swans boss Michael Laudrup is prepared to offload the 27-year-old and O’Neill is now scrambling to push the deal over the line before the deadline with Premier League rivals Norwich and Stoke still interested.

Reports are now suggesting that England under-21 international Wickham will be used as a makeweight to speed up Graham’s protracted switch and O’Neill is hoping Swansea will agree to take him on loan until May.

The 19-year-old has struggled to make the desired impact since arriving at the Stadium of Light in an £8m move from Ipswich in June 2011.

He has struggled to dislodge Steven Fletcher as Sunderland’s central striker this term, making just two starts, and O’Neill is hoping the extra exposure to first team football will stand him in good stead.

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