GUS Poyet has admitted Lee Cattermole could be a Stoke player before the end of today after an “impressive” late bid from the Potters.
The Black Cats’ boss was an hour late for his scheduled Press conference this afternoon because he was involved in talks with the Potters over the Teessider’s future.
And although the head coach said that the deal might not necessarily go through and that he personally would have preferred to keep the 25-year-old, the signs are that Cattermole will leave the Sunderland before the transfer window closes at 11pm tonight.
Poyet explained: “We were not expecting to do any business today unless an incredible opportunity came up either way.
“But from this morning we have been dealing with a situation with Lee Cattermole, where an impressive offer has come in for him.
“We cannot say anything because it is still ongoing.
“It looks like he is not going at this very moment in time but it changes by the hour and it would be very difficult to explain everything going on.”
Cattermole has had an injury and missed Sunderland’s victory over Stoke City midweek and is not expected to be fit for the weekend.
But despite the signing of defensive midfielder Liam Bridcutt today, Poyet still sees a role for Cattermole if the move does not go through.
“It is very difficult for me as a manager,” said the Uruguayan.
“I would like to keep the group of players we have got today and I was confident on Thursday evening that we would keep them until the end of the season.
“I never expected this with Lee.
“We had an offer the other day which was very simple to turn down and nothing happened during the day after that, so I thought that was fine.
“But Stoke came back with a big price and that’s the problem, every player has a price. They have put us in a difficult situation.
“It puts him in a difficult situation too.
“I was looking forward to having him and Liam Bridcutt fighting for that place because they are both leaders.
“Now everything can change and it is not easy.”