Arca talks planned
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland are opening talks with Julio Arca after the Argentinian crowd favourite was linked with a move to West Brom.
The 23-year-old's present deal expires next year and Mick McCarthy is keen to tie the versatile defender down to fresh terms.
The Black Cats boss has admitted failure to gain promotion could cost Sunderland the services of the popular player but Arca, who missed the play-offs through injury, might be persuaded to remain on Wearside.
Contact has been made with the South American's agent and talks are planned later this month.
Meanwhile, the North East outfit are reportedly closing in on the signature of Oxford United's Dean Whitehead.
The 22-year-old midfielder was offered a new deal by Graham Rix but is believed to be keen to head to The Stadium of Light.
Oxford may soften the blow of his departure by landing experienced striker Lee Bradbury.