Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong close to joining Torino as interest in Paddy McNair ramps up

Didier Ndong is close to a Sunderland exit with Serie A side Torino hopeful of landing him for £6.6million - with interest also hotting up in Paddy McNair.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 4:27 pm
Updated Friday, 1st June 2018, 4:32 pm
Didier Ndong.

Club record signing Ndong, who cost Sunderland £13.6million two summers ago, is wanted by several clubs but Torino look set to win the race to land his signature.

Italian side Atalanta and French club Amiens are also interested in Ndong, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Watford, with Cardiff City, Lyon and clubs from Turkey also monitoring the situation.

It comes as Sunderland face an increasing battle to keep hold of key player McNair with Brighton & Hove Albion again testing Sunderland’s resolve.

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The Seagulls originally bid £2million but that derisory offer was rejected, it is understood a second improved offer has also been turned down.

With Derby County, Stoke and Norwich all monitoring the situation, Sunderland face a tough test to keep hold of McNair.

New owner Stewart Donald insists the club will be no pushover in the transfer market - and will only allow players to move on for the right price.

“There are quite a lot of players who are on astronomical wages for League One, and some of them think that that means it will be very easy for them to disappear from Sunderland and go and earn that money somewhere else,” said Donald.

“Well the club has paid money for those players, and it isn’t as simple as that. There is a balancing act here.

“The football club can afford to keep these players. The reality is that if they don’t want to be here and we don’t want them, then we need to get a sensible compromise but that means everybody will need to be fair.

“There is no way that the football club, having been relegated, should bear the brunt of things.”

On Thursday night Donald revealed the club had received a €7.5million (£6.6m) offer for a player, believed to be Ndong, after an initial bid of €3million had been rejected.

Donald, speaking on BBC Radio Newcastle, said: “There are other clubs interested in a lot of our players and we’ve turned down bids for some of them.

“The bigger issue is not whether we can afford to keep them but whether those players want to stay.”

Donald added: “To give you a quick example, we have got a player at the moment that we were offered €3m for.

“We said no, all of a sudden it’s at €7.5m and that’s a much more acceptable figure.

“We might be close on that one. I think the view was that we would just desperately take the €3m - not a chance.”

Sunderland have also been linked with a summer swoop for Burnley striker Jon Walters.

The striker was on Chris Coleman’s radar in January and now the Black Cats have been linked with another move for him.

The 34-year-old is available for transfer but Burnley want £2million for his services.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough midfielder Grant Leadbitter, who had been linked with a return to Sunderland, is understood to be in no rush to drop down to League One. There is also interest from Championship side Nottingham Forest, managed by former Boro boss Aitor Karanka.