FRENCH club Marseille are ready to offer Marcos Angeleri an escape route from Sunderland when the transfer window reopens at the start of January.

Angeleri has become the Black Cats’ forgotten man since making a £1.5m move from Argentinian side Estudiantes in the summer.

The 27-year-old right-back is still to make an senior appearance for Sunderland, and although a niggling knee problem has hardly helped his cause, he has struggled to adapt to life in England.

Steve Bruce has extensive experience of handling South American signings, but while the Black Cats boss continues to insist it will take time for the defender to settle, he is privately understood to harbour grave reservations about Angeleri’s suitability for life in the Premier League.

As a result, Marseille could find Sunderland receptive negotiators if they follow through their intention to offer a six-month loan move when the transfer window reopens.

The Ligue One champions are struggling for options at right-back after Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta was ruled out of the rest of the season through injury.

Meanwhile, Bolo Zenden has dismissed suggestions that Sunderland could be about to embark on a run similar to last season’s sequence when they went 14 Premier League games without a victory.

Back then, the Black Cats lost their two leading centrehalves and tumbled down the table from the end of November onwards.

Twelve months on, and the loss of Titus Bramble and Michael Turner has once again left Bruce’s side short of defensive cover.

Things could be even worse for this weekend’s home game with West Ham if John Mensah fails to recover from the shoulder injury that forced his premature exit against Wolves.

But while a 3-2 defeat at Molineux set the alarm bells ringing, Zenden feels it is too early to start drawing comparisons with last season.

“Things are different, said the Dutchman. “I believe last year we were flying for the first two months, last year we were ahead of the others.

Now it is much tighter right through the league.

“Everyone knows that, in the next month, we have so many games coming up.

When it comes to January, whether you have started well or badly, you know two wins or two losses can be the difference between being in the top six or at the bottom.”

■ Sunderland winger Ahmed Elmohamady will attend a signing session at the club’s retail outlet in Debenhams’ city centre store between 5pm to 6pm on Thursday.