REGIS LE BRIS has a clear tactical plan for Jobe Bellingham next season, with the teenage midfielder keen to remain with Sunderland despite interest from Premier League clubs.

Brentford have held formal talks with Sunderland officials over a possible deal for Bellingham, who does not turn 19 until September, with Crystal Palace also understood to be interested in the youngster.

However, while Bellingham is aware of the growing speculation over his future, he is keen to continue developing with Sunderland next season. He made 44 senior starts in all competitions last season, and does not want to spend a large part of next term sitting on the bench at a Premier League club.

He was played in a number of different positions under Tony Mowbray, Michael Beale and Mike Dodds, starting as a centre-forward, a number ten and even a holding midfielder on occasion, and while Le Bris did not want to give too much away when asked about Bellingham’s best role, Sunderland’s new head coach has a defined plan for one of his leading stars.

“I have a clear idea of where I want to him (Bellingham) to play – but I need to talk with him about it before I say anything else,” said Le Bris. “I am looking forward to working with him, I think he can be a great player.”

Bellingham’s elder brother, Jude, has been starring at the Euros with England in the last month, and Jobe was in Germany watching his sibling before returning to Wearside to start pre-season training.


Understandably, Jobe is keen to avoid too many comparisons with his brother, but Le Bris thinks there are things he could learn from Jude’s success.

“It is difficult with two brothers, for the younger to build themselves, I think,” he said. “They are different. I need to have many experiences with Jobe before saying anything because he is very talented, obviously, but he is also very young.

“I don't know how many games he has had - maybe 50 or 60 - and that is really a huge experience for his age. I think he is ambitious and he wants to improve. It could be very interesting for him to understand how his brother performs right now, but he also has to find his own way.”