REAL Betis are expected to get the ball rolling on a summer clear-out at Sunderland by making a firm bid for Alfred N’Diaye next month.
The Spanish outfit have been impressed by the form and potential of the former France Under 21 and now full Senegalese international, who is on loan at the Estadio Benito Villamarin until the end of the season.
And sources in Spain say the Seville-based outfit are now looking to make the move permanent by readying a bid which would match the £3.8m that then Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill forked out in January last year to bring the 24-year-old to the Stadium of Light from Turkish side Bursaspor.
N’Diaye played only 16 games for Sunderland and was generally well-received by fans after his arrival from Turkish side Bursaspor.
But he did not feature in the plans of either Paolo Di Canio or Gus Poyet.
Di Canio rubber-stamped the 6ft 2ins midfielder’s loan move to Turkish outfit Eskisehirspor last summer where he went on to score three goals in 16 games.
And it was Poyet who agreed to N’Diaye’s move to Spain in January this year, even though the head coach had the option of recalling him to Sunderland.
N’Diaye was disappointed at his lack of first-team opportunities at Sunderland under Di Canio, which is why he accepted the opportunity of a loan last summer.
And it has been suggested N’Diaye would not be keen to return to Sunderland should the club be relegated.
That’s something which now seems certain, but the midfielder is facing a potential relegation of his own in Spain.
Real Betis were bottom of La Liga when N’Diaye joined them and they remain rooted to the foot of the division, beaten 3-1 by Barcelona at the weekend to leave them nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.
But Betis see the permanent acquisition of N’Diaye as central to their rebuilding plans this summer and are preparing to present him with an attractive deal while matching the transfer fee Sunderland originally paid.
That is an offer which Sunderland would swiftly accept as Poyet begins an overhaul of the Sunderland squad this summer which is likely to be of massive proportions.