Sunderland will fight off any attempts to take Adnan Januzaj from Wearside.
French side Lyon, fourth in Ligue 1 at the halfway stage of the season, are thought to be interested in Manchester United’s Belgian winger as a potential replacement for their Algerian star Rachid Ghezzal, who is currently on Africa Cup of Nations duty and whose contract expires in the summer.
They would be interested in a loan with an option to buy deal, but the Echo understands that Sunderland are in a strong position to keep hold of the 21-year-old.
There is not thought to be a recall clause in the season-long loan deal signed this summer, allowing the Black Cats a major say in his immediate future.
Furthermore, Januzaj is thought to be happy playing for David Moyes, who handed him his first-team debut when manager at Manchester United.
The youngster has become a first-team regular in recent weeks and the general consensus is that regular Premier League football and stability is what Januzaj needs to have any chance of fulfilling his potential.
Januzaj endured a torrid loan spell at Borussia Dortmund after falling out of favour at Old Trafford last season, making only three league starts and recalled halfway through the season- long loan deal. He would likely be a regular at Lyon but has started to show signs of form in recent weeks for the Black Cats.
He was impressive up front alongside Jermain Defoe in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool, while a fine individual run helped Defoe net the consolation goal in the 4-1 drubbing at Burnley on New Year’s Eve.
His place in the team has been secured due to an injury to Victor Anichebe, but he is likely to be key even when the Nigerian returns.
Lyon may well be interested in a deal, but Sunderland are in a strong position as it stands.