For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Sunderland waiting for better news on recruitment front
SUNDERLAND are pressing ahead with plans to bring Marcos Alonso back to the Stadium of Light but the chances of Ki Sung-Yueng making a return have receded.
While the Black Cats have made a second offer to Fiorentina in an attempt to land Alonso on a permanent basis, it has emerged clubs are being priced out of a move for Ki.
Aston Villa are keen to sign the South Korean World Cup player before the start of the new season next month and are being asked to pay around £6.5m to do a deal.
Sunderland are not keen to match that valuation, despite a relatively successful season long loan on Wearside even if his performances did dip in the final few of months of the campaign.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that Swansea are not even willing negotiators, with manager Garry Monk happy to have him in his squad next season.
Monk, who took over from Michael Laudrup last season, was impressed with what he saw of Ki’s performances for Sunderland and would like him to stay at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said: “Ideally we would like to tie Ki up to a long term contract. There’s no hiding from that. Garry has spoken to him already but it’s important that they have another chat and we will decide where we go after that.”
Gustavo Poyet is keen to make further progress on the transfer front before he takes his squad to Portugal for a pre-season trip on July 28.
But the indications are that nothing is particularly close on that front, although there has been another move for Alonso.
Fiorentina are willing to sell him this summer but are not desperate to. The 23-year-old was promised an opportunity to figure under Vincenzo Montella and he has played in a pre-season friendly already.
Sunderland are trying to buy him for around £3m, although Fiorentina are asking for double that. There remains a chance unwanted defender Modibo Diakite, who spent last season on loan with the Italians, will be used as part of any deal.
Poyet is also still waiting for word from sporting director Lee Congerton on any progress which might have been made in pursuit of Liverpool’s Fabio Borini and Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma.
Sunderland could soon been boosted by an extra £1.5m by offloading midfielder Alfred N'Diaye.
The 24-year-old, who has been training with Sunderland so far this pre-season, looks set to move to Real Betis. Betis are in advanced talks for his signature and hope to buy him for £2.2m less than the £3.7m paid to Besiktas in January last year. There would be add-ons under the terms being proposed by Betis, where he spent last season on loan.