CHARIS Mavrias is expected to spend the second half of the season out on loan by departing in the January transfer window.
Greek international Mavrias has not featured for Sunderland’s first-team in almost 12 months, albeit he has been an unused substitute on nine occasions this season.
The Echo understands that Sunderland have held talks with Mavrias and his representative, and it has been agreed in principle that the 20-year-old can leave on loan next month in order to play regular first-team football.
Mavrias’ former club Panathinaikos have been looking to re-sign the winger on loan for several months, while fellow Greek outfit PAOK are also thought to be interested.
But Mavrias has harboured reservations over returning to his homeland and a move to the Championship may be more appealing, with Reading understood to be one side who expressed an interest in a loan move last January.
Both Sunderland and Mavrias realise that he needs to play competitive games though after just six appearances for the Black Cats since arriving at the Stadium of Light in a £2million move 18 months ago.
Despite impressing Gus Poyet during pre-season as a makeshift full-back, Mavrias has remained on the fringes and he still hasn’t enjoyed a Premier League outing during the Uruguayan’s stewardship.
And with Adam Johnson, Will Buckley, Ricky Alvarez and Connor Wickham all ahead of Mavrias in the pecking order of wide options available to Poyet, his chances are likely to remain limited at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are also likely to boost their attacking ranks in January after netting just 16 Premier League goals during the first half of the season – the third lowest total in the top flight.
The Black Cats continue to be linked with a loan move for Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah, although Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan have also expressed interest in the Egyptian international.
Salah is thought to have been a player Sunderland considered in the summer, with the £11m expected to leave Stamford Bridge on loan after starting just three games this season.
Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton worked alongside Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as youth-team coach and then chief scout at Stamford Bridge.
And after signing Chelsea academy product Patrick van Aanholt during the summer, it is understood that Congerton watched his former club’s Under-21 side draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in the Premier League International Cup 10 days ago.