The Black Cats thought that their hopes of snapping up Ballard this summer were all but over as he was set to join Championship rivals Burnley.


Ballard even travelled to Lancashire to undergo a medical ahead of his proposed move to the Clarets, but the deal fell through at the eleventh hour as they failed to agree to personal terms with the player.



Burnley are no longer chasing Ballard, while Millwall and Blackpool along with Sunderland are keen on a move for him.


The centre-back had loan spells in the past at both Millwall and Blackpool however both of those clubs are not favourites to sign him this summer.



Sunderland are currently in pole position to land Ballard’s services although a deal is yet to be finalised.


The Wearside giants have intensified their interest to bring Ballard to the Stadium of Light and they are hopeful of reaching an agreement with him and his club Arsenal.



Having climbed back into the Championship, Sunderland are now keen to return to the Premier League and it remains to be seen whether Ballard will be a part of their promotion charge next term.