FRENCH club Lille are unlikely to make a move for Jozy Altidore in January – unless Sunderland sanction the striker’s departure on loan.
Altidore’s Sunderland future remains in question after his run of more than 12 months without a Premier League goal infamously continued against West Ham last weekend, with Burnley frontman Danny Ings yesterday linked as a potential replacement.
As the Echo reported last month, Lille have been contemplating including Altidore on a list of January targets after making an enquiry for the American international during the summer.
But sources in France have indicated that a move for Altidore next month is fraught with complications for Lille, who only want to sign him on a loan deal.
With Sunderland investing £7million in Altidore and mindful of Financial Fair Play, the Black Cats would be writing off funds to re-invest in the playing squad by letting the 25-year-old depart on loan.
Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, who watched Altidore in friendly action for the USA last month, were also linked with a loan move over the weekend, but those reports claimed the German outfit were ready to insert a £4m permanent clause in the deal.
Despite Altidore starting Sunderland’s last two games – his first Premier League starts of the campaign – both the striker and his agent have admitted that they will have to consider his position at the Stadium of Light in January.
And while Gus Poyet has denied that Sunderland have held talks with interested parties, the head coach has made no secret of his desire to add to his attacking options next month.
Offloading Altidore would free up a space in Sunderland’s attacking ranks, with the Black Cats the latest Premier League club to be linked with Burnley’s Ings.
Several top-flight outfits, including Newcastle, have been looking at a January move for Ings, whose contract expires at Turf Moor at the end of the season.
Burnley are still hopeful of agreeing a new deal for Ings, who has netted four goals in his last eight league appearances for the in-form Clarets.
And sources close to Burnley have indicated that while Ings may well depart at the end of the season – when compensation would be owed due to the 22-year-old’s age – the club see more value in him remaining at Turf Moor and helping them remain in the Premier League.