Sunderland and Portsmouth are close to agreeing a fee for Plymouth Argyle striker Freddie Ladapo, PlymouthLive is saying.

26-year-old Ladapo was one of the Pilgrims’ only stand-out performers from their last campaign, netting 19 times as Argyle were relegated to League Two on the final day of the season. His impressive goalscoring record for a team that struggled for creativity has attracted the interest of two of League One’s biggest clubs.

Both Sunderland and Portsmouth are reported to be close to agreeing a fee within the region of £500,000, whilst another unnamed side are said to have submitted an offer. Ladapo was subject to a £400,000 bid by the Black Cats in January, and their interest has been rekindled as current strikers Will Grigg and Charlie Wyke have underperformed. Ladapo is just one of the strikers approached by Sunderland already this summer, having offered a contract to Scottish striker Lawrence Shankland.

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The Greens will be hoping to keep hold of their prolific goalscorer, having already numerous senior players this summer. Midfielders Graham Carey, David Fox, Jamie Ness and Yann Songo’o have all departed Home Park, in addition to defender Ryan Edwards. Argyle are also yet to make a signing under newly appointed manager Ryan Lowe, who would be left with only the injury-prone Ryan Taylor should Ladapo leave this summer.

Argyle’s stance is complicated by Ladapo’s contract expiring at the end of next season. If the Greens fail to achieve promotion this season, they are likely to lose Ladapo for free in 12 months time. Too often Argyle have seen their better players leave without payment, much to the frustration of the fans. Captain Sonny Bradley left for Luton Town for free last summer, whilst Graham Carey moved to CSKA Sofia earlier this week following the expiration of his contract.

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