SUNDERLAND have given El-Hadji Ba permission to join French Ligue One side Bastia on a season-long loan.

The 21-year old Frenchman links up with Claude Makelele’s side and could make his debut for the Blues against Marseille in the season opener this weekend.

Ba joined the Black Cats last summer from Le Harve, making his debut against Carlisle United in the FA Cup, scoring in the 3-1 win, before making a further two appearances for the club.

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He has impressed during pre-season for Sunderland, but Gustavo Poyet is keen for him to get more first team football unbder his belt before returning next summer.