STEPHANE Sessegnon wants out of Sunderland according to the Sunday Express and Sunday People.
Alan Oliver in the People and John Richardson in the Express report that the 29-year-old Benin international, signed by Steve Bruce for £6million in 2011, favours a return to France.
Sunderland would want at least £8million for their most skilful player, the papers claim, but leading French side Marseille are said to be willing to pay it.
It is an interesting story, particularly as there were rumours last week that Sessegnon’s camp has been discreetly testing the waters.
But it would not be the first time that the attacker has been strongly linked with a summer exit only to be playing in red and white when the transfer window closes.
Last summer it was strongly claimed he would be on his way out of the Stadium of Light, with Arsenal one of the names most regularly touted as a potential destination.
But no acceptable bid was forthcoming and the African remained at Sunderland.
New head coach Paolo di Canio is a big admirer of Sessegnon’s but believes he is capable of scoring a lot more goals and is determined to improve that aspect of his game.
There is no suggestion that Sunderland want to let him go and the odds are that Di Canio will keep hold of a player who is a match-winner on his day.
What is likely to be of more concern to the Italian though, is that Sessegnon will become as distracted by transfer talk as he was last season.
The attacker had an abject start to last season and was out of sorts for months before returning to his best form.
Di Canio will hope to counter that, in part, by ensuring this time Sessegnon is at peak fitness from the start of next season.