MICHAEL Beale yesterday confidently claimed that Sunderland would be in pole position to sign Amad Diallo this month if Manchester United sanctioned another loan - but, as the Black Cats boss feared, it appears unlikely the forward will be on the move.

United are well aware that Sunderland would love Amad back at the Stadium of Light this month and although Beale acknowledged finances might have been an issue, he told of his confidence that the Black Cats would win the battle for the 21-year-old if Erik ten Hag decided on a loan switch.

But as things stand it seems almost certain that Amad will be staying at Manchester United for the second half of the season. Reports emerged last night claiming Amad has held talks with ten Hag and made it clear he intends to stay. It was also claimed that Diallo had stressed he didn't want to join any other Championship club out of respect to the Black Cats.

Amad starred for Sunderland on loan last season and loved his time on Wearside before returning to his parent club in the summer with the ambitions of breaking into ten Hag's first team.

That hasn't proved possible so far this season, with an injury keeping the 21-year-old out of action until late last month. His 36-minute outing from the bench in United's defeat to Nottingham Forest at the end of December remains his only appearance this season, though his absence in recent games has been because of a virus.


The uncertainty over Amad's situation at Old Trafford has sparked interest from several clubs, with Middlesbrough having kept tabs on the situation and Southampton, Leicester City and Birmingham all linked.

But Sunderland have made sure that United know they would love to reunite with the forward if at all possible.

“We’ve made it really clear to them that we would be in there but they (Man United really value him as well," said Beale.

"He could have an interest in-house maybe during the second half of the season but if he goes out on loan, I can assure you, they are well aware we would want it to come back here."

Asked if he'd be confident Sunderland would win the battle for Amad if United gave a loan move the green light, Beale said: “Yes. Putting finances aside – because that’s the big thing – I know he loved his time here, the fans loved him and he was well loved in the changing room.

"When I came here, it was something that if it could happen, it would happen but I think Man U realise they have a very good football player on their hands.”