SEB LARSSON will decide whether to re-sign for Sunderland within the next week, but the Black Cats have been told to forget about trying to recruit Cardiff City midfielder Jordon Mutch.
Larsson and his representatives have held a number of discussions with senior Sunderland officials since his previous contract expired at the end of last season.
Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has talked terms with the Sweden international, with German side Borussia Monchengladbach and Turkish duo Besiktas and Galatasaray also known to be interested.
Larsson has previously hinted that he would like to remain in England, but the offers from Turkey are believed to be the most financially lucrative.
Nevertheless, while Gustavo Poyet is increasingly resigned to the departure of Jack Colback. The midfielder has been offered around £50,000-aweek to move to West Ham, but the Sunderland boss remains hopeful of retaining Larsson.
Poyet continues to have an ongoing dialogue with the Swede, who is set to make a decision on his future shortly.
“Discussions are ongoing, and there are alternatives,”
said Larsson. “Yes, Sunderland want to keep me, and that is nice. But it need not necessarily be them.
“If I decide in the next few days then there are offers from various clubs.
There are downsides and upsides to everything, but offers are available.”
Sunderland’s recruitment team identified Mutch as a potential replacement for Colback, but Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman has insisted the 22-year-old will not be leaving South Wales despite the Bluebirds’ relegation to the Championship.
Weekend reports that Sunderland had agreed a fee for Mutch were incorrect, although there is definite interest in the playmaker, who finished last season as Cardiff ’s leading goalscorer with seven Premier League goals.
The Black Cats had hoped to engineer a cutprice deal for Mutch, who recently entered the final year of his deal at the Cardiff City Stadium.
However, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to avoid a fire sale of his leading assets, Dalman is adamant Mutch will be going nowhere this summer.
“We have not received any bids for Jordon, and he is in our manager’s plans for next season,”
said Dalman. “Jordon is a Cardiff City player and that will not change.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland will take on Hartlepool United in a pre-season friendly at Victoria Park on Wednesday, July 23 (7.30pm).
The Black Cats take on Carlisle United 24 hours earlier, and Poyet is expected to split his squad in order to cover both games.
Ex-Sunderland boss Roy Keane has “asked not to be considered” for the vacant managerial position at Celtic. The Republic of Ireland assistant has ruled himself out of the running to replace Neil Lennon, and has now been linked with the assistant manager job at Aston Villa.