Sunderland field 'tentative' enquiries but Chris Coleman not counting on January outgoings

Sunderland have fielded 'tentative' enquiries for first team players but Chris Coleman insists there are no concrete proposals on the table.

Monday, 29th January 2018, 12:59 pm
Updated Monday, 29th January 2018, 1:05 pm
Watford are interested in Didier Ndong

Coleman is hoping to offload one or two players who 'don't want to be here' before the window shuts on Monday.

The Sunderland boss has insisted throughout the month that players would have to leave for him to make significant changes to his squad and as it stands, he is targeting a goalkeeper and a striker as the final additions this month.

The picture could change but there have been no significant recent developments.

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Coleman said: "We’ve had one or two tentative phone calls but that’s it. We are at that stage now, 48 hours or so, when people start to get a bit nervous and things can change. So something could happen but there is nothing at the moment."

Reports over the weekend suggested that Watford would return for Didier Ndong before the end of the month, with new boss Javi Gracia happy to make him his first signing at the club.

The Hornets bid for the midfielder earlier this month with a loan deal that would become permanent should the 23-year-old play in a certain number of games.

That was strongly rebuffed by Sunderland and Coleman says there have been no further bids.

West Ham have also been linked with the Gabon international.

Coleman said: "We haven't heard anything.

"It's probably unsettling for Didier – is he or isn't he.

"But as I've said before, unless the deal suits us as well as the player and the purchaser, it won't happen, and as of yet we have not heard back from Watford."

Coleman also admitted that Sunderland are 'back to square one' with Jack Rodwell after Vitesse Arnhem cancelled a trial at the last minute.

The Black Cats have offered to tear up the remaining 18 months of Rodwell's contract but the midfielder told the Daily Mail that he would only leave if a new club is lined up.

Coleman said: "I've absolutely no idea [what happened]. I was told he was going, which would have been good for Vitesse, good for Jack to play some football again, but right at the last minute Vitesse decided against it.

"For what reasons, we do not know. Nobody told us.

"We are back to square one and he is still here with us."

Another player linked with a move away has been Lamine Kone, but there have again been no bids this window and Coleman recently suggested that the centre-back would be a part of his plans moving forward.

The 28-year-old played 60 minutes for the U23's last week against Leicester City on his comeback from injury.

Coleman said: "All right, we know Lamine probably sees his future somewhere else but what I’ve said all the way along is that I can understand that.

“As long as when players are with us they are respectful and they behave accordingly, and if they wear the jersey and want to do their best while they are here, then I haven’t got a problem with that.

“Of course, we’ve seen that with Lamine and he’s trained very hard, and it’s nice to see a senior professional behaving in that manner because the younger players are always looking to see how it should be done – and having that type of respect is exactly how it’s done.

“He came through the game with no problems at all, so he’s coming along nicely.”