Sunderland’s search for a new right-back continues after the Black Cats have made no fresh approach for January target Lamine Gassama.
Sam Allardyce was eager to bring in fresh blood at full-back during his first transfer window at the helm and it is again one of the Sunderland manager’s five priorities this summer after the departure of on-loan Spurs defender DeAndre Yedlin.
Sunderland saw a move for Lorient’s Gassama fall through in January when he was unwilling to join a club that could be relegated from the Premier League, despite the Senegal international having just six months remaining on his contract with the French club.
But amidst speculation earlier this week that Sunderland had ended their interest in Gassama, the Echo understands that there has indeed been no revived bid from the Black Cats for the 26-year-old.
Gassama still wants to move to England - either to the Premier League or a top-end Championship club - but the only concrete approach so far has been talks with a Turkish club.
However, even if Sunderland have drawn a line under their pursuit of Gassama, he is far from the only defender that the Black Cats have been tracking from the other side of the Channel.
Nice’s out-of-contract full-back Jeremy Pied has been strongly linked with Sunderland, as has Lille’s Djibril Sidibe, who is also rumoured to be a target of West Ham, Monaco and PSG.
The uncapped Sidibe was training with the France Euro 2016 squad until last week after being named as one of the stand-by players by national team boss Didier Deschamps.
But despite another three years to run on his Lille contract, he expects to be on the move this summer and believes his future will be resolved quickly, despite the French club looking for a transfer fee in excess of £10million.
“There is a good chance (I will leave Lille)” Sidibe told the French press last week.
“Everything will depend on the project. I am open to everything, but we will think about it in terms of the Champions League, the family balance and the financial aspect.”