REAL BETIS will hold a second round of talks with Alfred N’Diaye’s agent today, in a bid to finally seal a deal for the up-for-grabs Sunderland midfielder.
Sunderland accepted a bid of around £2million earlier this month from Betis, with the Spanish side keen to re-sign N’Diaye, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the club.
But Betis were unable to agree personal terms with N’Diaye and had threatened to walk away from the deal, with Spanish rivals Celta Vigo and Elche also interested.
However, N’Diaye’s brother and agent, Bakary Ciss, is due to hold discussions with Betis, in Seville today, with sources in Spain suggesting that the two sides could be close to reaching an agreement.
That will represent a boost for Sunderland, who are eager to offload N’Diaye after he tellingly wasn’t even handed a squad number last week.
Boss Gus Poyet wants to bring in a central midfielder of his own choosing before the transfer deadline after seeing a loan move for Manchester City’s Bruno Zuculini - who yesterday joined Valencia - fall through due to Premier League rules.
N’Diaye is one of several players considered surplus to requirements, who Sunderland are eager to offload before the end of the transfer window.
Modibo Diakite and Cabral, who featured for Sunderland Under-21s last night, are at the top of that list.
But the Echo understands that the Black Cats’ attempts to offload them are so far yet to reap any significant rewards, with the club understandably concentrating on potential suitors on the Continental market.
A host of scouts - including representatives from Middlesbrough, Ipswich and Crystal Palace - were present at Eppleton CW to see the U21s against Liverpool, yet their sights were set on loan moves for Sunderland youngsters.
It is thought though that two of Sunderland’s most in-demand players - Mikael Mandron and Duncan Watmore - will not be allowed to leave on loan at present.
Poyet’s concern is more on incomings, than outgoings, with the head coach taking in last night’s game alongside chairman Ellis Short and and sporting director Lee Congerton.
Sunderland have missed out on a move for Chile international Eduardo Vargas, with the Napoli forward undergoing a medical at QPR today ahead of a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent switch.
But the Black Cats’ enquiry for Vargas demonstrated that the club are considering other options to main target Fabio Borini, with Sunderland’s £14m move continuing to hang in the balance.
Poyet insisted last week that it was not a lack of commitment from Borini to join Sunderland which caused the proposed switch to drag on for more than a month.
But Liverpool sources have indicated that the ball is in Borini’s court over his future, with Brendan Rodgers prepared to utilise the Italian as a squad player if his return to Sunderland falls through.