Sunderland are reportedly interested in signing Hibernian centre-back Ryan Porteous ahead of the January transfer window and the Scotland international could be the ideal man to replace Danny Batth during his spell on the sidelines.
According to Football League World, Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion, and Watford – along with the Black Cats – are all keen on the Hibs defender, who looks almost certain to leave Easter Road in 2023.
The powerful centre-back is out of contract with The Cabbage at the end of the current campaign and it seems as if a January exit could well be on the cards, as the Scottish Premiership side look to cash in next month rather than losing him for nothing in the summer.
The 23-year-old has made 17 appearances in the Scottish top-flight so far this season, contributing three goals and earning a solid 7.00 average rating from WhoScored for his performances.
This is better than all Sunderland’s defensive options have managed in the Championship so far this term, so it seems clear the quality that Porteous could add at the Stadium of Light.
After he made his Scotland debut against Ukraine earlier this year, the 6 foot 2 titan earned a lot of praise from Craig Gordon.
“I think Ryan showed why against Ukraine. Not only was he a great defender, but he was good on the ball for us.
“He brought the ball out and what a real composed, confident first game for him.”
Despite his tender age, Porteous already sounds like a leader at the back for Hibernian, and he could replicate that role in Tony Mowbray’s side in the absence of the experienced Batth over the busy new year period.
It was confirmed earlier this week that the former Wolves man would face a spell on the sidelines after being forced off against Hull City last weekend.
“I think Danny will be out for two to three weeks – it’s not a bad injury, but he’ll miss Monday.
“He’ll be chomping at the bit and might even travel with us to the North West.
“He just needs to strengthen his calf back up and get back on the grass.”
Considering the 32-year-old has started every single game in the Championship this season, he will be a big miss for Mowbray while he is sidelined, but Porteous could be the ideal man to step up in his absence.