Dortmund line up New Year move for Sunderland striker Ji Dong-won

Borussia Dortmund have once again lined up Sunderland striker Ji Dong-won, according to the Sunderland Echo.

The Champions League runners-up had spent a bit of time looking at the South Korean international, and were reported to have made a £5m bid for the striker, with the Black Cats thought to be keen to do a deal until manager Paolo Di Canio stepped in and prevented the transfer from going through.

Ji’s contract expires in the summer, however, and with no new deal being signed the club could lose the man who famously scored a last minute winner against Man City on New Year’s Day for only a minimal compensation fee.

Due to Ji’s age there would be a figure due to the club, but that is hardly likely to come even close to Dortmund’s previous £5m offer – and so doing a deal in January could prove beneficial to the Premier League’s bottom side, giving them additional funds to bolster their squad for the grueling relegation battle during the second half of the season.

Ji has not even featured in a Black Cats squad since new boss Gus Poyet took over, last appearing on the sheet during Kevin Ball’s final game in charge against Man United in October.

Poyet has commented on his striker, admitting he was a good player but saying he struggles to find a role for Ji in his vision for the squad.

The Uruguayan said earlier this month: “He’s a very good player, but I need to find the opportunity to say to him: ‘Here you go. Don’t try to think too much about how we’re playing, just go out there and play.

“But I don’t know how to play him because that’s what he needs.”

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