Today’s talk is once again about a host of our midfielders with futures set to (hopefully) be resolved before the World Cup kicks off.
The ongoing Sebastian Larsson craic continued as yesterday’s links with Hull City have been rubbished by the Shields Gazette and others, citing that the potential wage Larsson would demand is set to send Steve Bruce elsewhere. I’m not sure if the rumour is completely dead; Hull didn’t have a problem dishing out decent sized contracts last season with Shane Long reportedly on £40k a week and the likes of Tom Huddlestone and Nikica Jelavic unlikely to be too far behind. Alas perhaps that is why they aren’t prepared to pay big bucks this transfer window.
Larsson’s agent has also played down links with Italian giants Napoli, stating his client has his hopes pinned on a Premier League stay;
“It is claimed as much [that Napoli are interested].
There is no truth in it, they've probably been and looked at him, but clubs are looking at players all the time. I know nothing about that in any case, and I think that we would have heard something.
Sebastian loves England and has always done. He has not wanted to move from there before.”
Stoke City did have a bid turned down for him in January and might pose the only real threat to getting Seb on a new deal. It all seems to point firmly towards the Swede signing a new contract which can only be a good thing given his form at the end of last season and the size of our current squad. Then again, two days ago it looked unlikely, so let’s just take everything with a pinch of salt!
The Echo have moved to stake the hearts of us all, adding to the doubt surrounding Alfred N’Diaye’s future with Sunderland. Despite his recent heroics, the report suggests Gus Poyet was unimpressed after watching extensive videos of the Senegalese man and that we are seeking to recoup of the £3.8 million Martin O’Neill shelled out for him.
I can’t say it’s a surprise, but I have spent as much time as possible conning myself into believing he would get the opportunity next season. It is starting to look increasingly unlikely, but, so did Santiago Vergini turning into a decent player! It’s the hope I can’t stand!
Over the last few days reports have grew in numbers over Craig Gardner’s pending move to West Brom. We are not offering the former £6 million (!) signing from Birmingham a new deal and the Baggies have swooped quickly to try to seal the free transfer which should be announced in the coming days. I can’t say I am disappointed or surprised, nice to get his wages off the books.
There has been some movement in the talks surrounding Jack Colback as a number of articles are suggesting his future is set to be decided by the end of the week. Colback has a wealth of options available to him after a ‘final’ new contract offer from Sunderland with Newcastle, Everton and Scottish Champions Celtic (amongst others) all registering their interest.
So it seems as though at least three (Gardner, Larsson and Colback), possibly four players (with Vergini likely to sign up soon) futures could be confirmed within the next week or two. Not sure how quickly N'Diaye's situation will be resolved, but that could be pretty quick too. Always best to get this stuff sorted sharpish in preparation for pre-season.