'Not up for it' - Reims man delivers verdict on Will Still to Sunderland links amid fresh speculation

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Reims captain Yunis Abdelhamid has spoken on the Will Still to Sunderland speculation.

Reims captain Yunis Abdelhamid has stated that speculation regarding manager Will Still has not impacted the French club

Still, 31, was a candidate to replace Tony Mowbray at Sunderland in December, before the club named Michael Beale as their new head coach. Mike Dodds has now been named Sunderland’s interim head coach until the end of the season when the club will have more time to assess their options.

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Still, who was born in Belgium to English parents, has publicly talked about wanting to manage in the Premier League, or at an ambitious Championship club. He first joined Reims as an assistant coach to Oscar Garcia in 2021, before moving to Belgium club Standard Liege, also as an assistant, as his UEFA pro licence was registered in Belgium.

Garcia then offered Still the chance to return to Reims as an assistant coach in 2022, before the Spaniard was sacked in October and Still was appointed caretaker boss.

Despite the reported interest in Still from Sunderland, however, his captain does not believe that it has impacted the club or the playing staff.

“Absolutely not," Abdelhamid answered when asked if the speculation had affected the group. "For us, Will Still is not up for it. What is said in the newspapers can lead to misinterpretation. So we, the players, don’t talk about that. We are focused and I can assure you that he is also fully involved with us.”

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Still led Reims to an 11th-place finish in Ligue 1 last season and signed a new contract with the club in June last year, which will run until 2025. Reports in France have claimed Still has a release clause of around £4.3million in his contract at Reims, who sit eighth in the Ligue 1 table this season.

When asked about that clause in December and reports that he made contact with Sunderland, Still told Gazete van Antwerpen: "I didn’t even know that clause was in my contract until last week. Perhaps that is why Sunderland put some pressure on certain media. Was it an attempt to get me out of here for free? I don’t know."

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