AHMED ELMOHAMADY’S prospects of remaining on Wearside are set to be clarified, with Martin O’Neill due to hold a meeting with the Egyptian’s agent.
Elmohamady has been linked with a move away this summer after being confined to a substitute’s role under O’Neill last season.
Newly-promoted West Ham, along with Hull City – managed by former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce – have both been linked with Elmohamady, who has two years remaining on his Black Cats contract.
Elmohamady returned to training on Monday after being given an extra fortnight’s break during the summer, and was hoping to seek clarity over his future.
The 24-year-old has not yet held talks with O’Neill, but the Sunderland boss is due to meet with the winger’s representative over the coming days.
“I haven’t spoken to Elmo directly yet,” confirmed O’Neill. “But his agent is scheduled for talks with me in the next few days.”
Elmohamady hasn’t started a competitive game since O’Neill succeeded Bruce last December and that has led to speculation over a move away.
West Ham had been leading the chase for the Egyptian international’s signature, but their interest appears to have cooled.
Bruce is firmly interested in taking Elmohamady on loan and Hull’s Egyptian owners could persuade him to drop into the Championship.
But while not addressing Elmohamady’s situation directly, O’Neill is not keen to immediately sanction loan moves for his players.
O’Neill admits he has received a number of enquiries to take his players on loan – three before the end of May – and he may eventually consider the benefits of the approaches.
But his main focus is on adding to Sunderland’s ranks after making just one foray into the transfer market this summer – free transfer Carlos Cuellar.
O’Neill said: “I’ve had a number of calls from people interested in taking players on loan – not just younger players, either.
“Eventually, I will have a look and see what is the best thing for the football club and for the players themselves.
“But at the moment my idea would be to try and get players into the football club, rather than sending them out on loan.
“My main concern is to bring some players in to improve the squad and I think that’s been pretty obvious for some time.”