Sunderland boss on Lewis Grabban's future, need for more firepower in January and Everton-target Lamine Kone
Chris Coleman admits Lewis Grabban's future is '˜up in the air' but insists bringing in additional firepower is a January priority even if the Bournemouth striker stays on Wearside.
The 29-year-old striker has been a revelation since arriving on a season-long loan deal, scoring 11 goals in a struggling Sunderland side.
But Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe could recall him next month due to a clause in the loan deal, with the Cherries weighing up the possibility of selling him next month.
A host of Championship clubs including Wolves and Saturday’s visitors Fulham are tracking Grabban.
Sunderland haven’t heard from Bournemouth whether they intend to recall him but Coleman says the Black Cats have to be proactive – and he insists bringing in reinforcements up front is a priority whether Grabban goes or stays.
Earlier this week Howe admitted Bournemouth were planning talks with Grabban to discuss his future.
Coleman said: “I saw the comments from Eddie but surprisingly enough we haven’t heard anything from Bournemouth.
“Obviously he is contracted to us until the end of the season, there is a break clause in January so it is Bournemouth’s prerogative if they want to sell the player.
“Looking at the comments we need to be proactive.
“It is a position anyway were I think we need to bring in a fresh face as well, regardless.
“As of yet, everything is a little bit up in the air.
“We don’t know if there is a bid for Lewis, we don’t know if Bournemouth will sell him or whether they will take him back.
“All we have heard is what has been said publicly, if there is a chance, and we will have to really build around that.”
Meanwhile, there has been renewed interest in Sunderland defender Lamine Kone this week with Everton again linked with a move for the centre-back in January.
Kone, currently out injured until mid-January, hasn’t played under Coleman because of injury.
Former Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, who signed Kone in January 2016 for £5million, recently took charge at Everton.
Coleman said: “Obviously Sam was a big admirer of him and brought him here to Sunderland and I think Everton were trying to sign him at one point the summer before last.
“Who knows, that could be something they look to revisit. I don’t know. We have to get him fit first.
“If you are saying to me ‘are you worried you are going to lose Lamine in January?’ Well, I have never had him anyway, not really.
“We know he is proven at Premier League level and they were talking big money for him at one stage so he is obviously able to play in the Premier League but until he gets fit I have no idea what will happen, no idea whether there will be a bid or whether he stays here. We will have to wait until he is fit,” added the Sunderland boss.