GUS POYET will confront former team-mate Mark Hughes tonight over the speculation linking Sunderland pair Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole with a move to Stoke City.
The Sunderland boss has been upset by the constant speculation in the Midlands surrounding tonight’s opponents Stoke making a move for two of his key figures.
There have been reports for more than a week that the Potters want to land Cattermole in a £5million deal, while there was talk yesterday that Stoke boss Hughes was also interested in Sunderland frontman Fletcher (right).
But Sunderland are yet to receive even an enquiry from Stoke and Poyet intends to clarify the situation with opposite number Hughes after tonight’s crunch relegation showdown.
Poyet told the Echo: “I will ask him. My first question after the game will be ‘do you really want Lee Cattermole and Steven Fletcher’?
“If not, then maybe someone needs to tell the Stoke newspaper!
“I’m not going to accuse them, because I don’t know where they got the information.
“But if something goes in the local newspaper, it is likely to come from the club – they are not likely to get it from somewhere else.
“Maybe there is an interest, and they were waiting to play the game before making it known. Maybe they were trying to do the right thing, but somebody has said something and it has come out before.
“I don’t know. But it was disappointing for it to come out a few days before we are due to play them.
“We’ll see what they have to say.”
Despite his irritation over the transfer speculation though, Poyet is on good terms with Hughes.
The pair spent the 1997-98 alongside each other at Chelsea, helping the club to the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
“I know Mark, we played together at Chelsea for a year,” added Poyet.
“He was... mamma mia... he was a beast on the pitch – a great player!”