Bardsley's future is still unclear

STAY OR GO? Phil Bardsley's future at Sunderland is uncertain

STAY OR GO? Phil Bardsley's future at Sunderland is uncertain

First published in Football
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

WEST HAM and Aston Villa are monitoring Phil Bardsley’s situation at Sunderland after head coach Gus Poyet admitted the defender would be leaving the Stadium of Light at the end of the season.

Poyet revealed talks over extending Bardsley’s stay on Wearside had broken down over the last month, however, sources close to the right-back insist he has never indicated to the club that he wants to leave.

The revelations leave Bardsley’s future beyond the campaign up in the air with Poyet likely to make significant stages regardless of whether the Black Cats maintain their Premier League status or not.

Despite being frozen out under Paolo Di Canio, Bardsley, Sunderland’s current longest-serving player, has been a mainstay in Poyet’s side.

He has missed the last two games through suspension, though, and after taking four points from Manchester City and Chelsea in the last seven days, Bardsley’s immediate return for Sunday’s crucial game at home to Cardiff City isn’t set in stone.

West Ham and Aston Villa, both of whom look set to stay in the top flight, are assessing the defender’s situation going into the summer transfer window with the latter also keeping tabs on Jack Colback after Poyet revealed contract talks had also broken down with the midfielder.

The Black Cats head coach will a number of decisions to make over players he inherited from Di Canio’s shambolic reign, but also others including midfield duo Seb Larsson and Alfred N’Diaye.

Larsson is one of several players out of contract this summer with talks over a new deal having been put on hold until the Black Cats’ Premier League fate is decided.

However, a number of clubs both at home and abroad are already considering offering the 28-year-old Sweden international a fresh start after 13 years in England.

Turkish sides Fenerbahce, Besiktas, Galatasaray and Bursaspor are all understood to have made contact with the Black Cats about the midfielder.

N’Diaye, signed by Martin O’Neill in January 2013, is currently on loan at Real Betis, but the Spanish outfit look destined for relegation sitting ten points adrift at the bottom of La Liga.

It is understood Poyet is not keen on giving the 24-year-old a second chance to impress on Wearside, but with his temporary club facing relegation, N’Diaye admits he is unsure where his future lies.

“I really do not know if I will stay, it’s something you have to talk to the clubs about because I have not heard anything,” he told the Spanish press.

“I belong to Sunderland, and those teams have to reach an agreement first because my contract is there.

“I do not know what will happen next year, if I will continue in England or Spain.

“I’m comfortable here at the club (Betis) in the city. I like what I found here, but I do not know what will happen in the future.

“Betis will remain a great club even in the second division. Going down can be a step backwards, but not as much at Betis. But first the clubs have to talk.”

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