Panathinaikos in talks over keeping Sunderland’s Charis Mavrias

Charalampos Mavrias in action for Sunderland Under 21 V Manchester City. Picture by FRANK REID
Charalampos Mavrias in action for Sunderland Under 21 V Manchester City. Picture by FRANK REID
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PANATHINAIKOS have entered into talks with Sunderland over keeping on-loan Charis Mavrias, according to reports in Greece.

Mavrias re-joined former club Panathinaikos on a loan deal until the end of the season on January deadline day after making just four Premier League appearances in 18 months for Sunderland, since his £2million capture.

Sunderland would be keen to offload Mavrias after the club were pro-active in trying to find him regular first-team football in January

The 21-year-old has not made a huge impression back in his homeland - starting just twice in the Greek league since his return.

However, there have been widespread reports in Greece that Panathinaikos have been in contact with Sunderland over keeping Mavrias at the end of the season, either permanently or on another loan deal.

Sunderland would be keen to offload Mavrias after the club were pro-active in trying to find him regular first-team football in January.

When interest from three Championship outfits failed to materialise into anything concrete, Sunderland sanctioned Mavrias’ return to Panathinaikos, with the Greek international agreeing to the move after rejecting a more lucrative offer from PAOK.

Mavrias is one of three Sunderland players out on long-term loans - all signed by ex-director of football Roberto Di Fanti - whose futures remains uncertain.

Defender Valentin Roberge has made nine appearances for French side Reims after returning to his homeland in August, while midfielder El-Hadji Ba has just resumed training with Bastia after an injury-hit season.

Ba has been out of action since October after breaking his leg. but is now back in first-team contention.

The 22-year-old is the most likely of the trio to have a first-team future at Sunderland after impressing during pre-season last summer.

However, like Roberge and Mavrias, Ba is approaching the final 12 months of his contract and Sunderland would be tempted to let him leave permanently if they received a suitable offer.