ON-LOAN Ki Sung-Yeung WILL be at the Stadium of Light until at least the end of the season, despite Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins’ suggestion that he could still be recalled.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet expressed his relief after Saturday’s victory at Fulham that the deadline had passed for Swansea to activate the clause in Ki’s loan to take him back to the Liberty Stadium during the January transfer window.
But Jenkins threw that statement into doubt yesterday when he indicated that Swansea had until the end of the month to recall the South Korean, who has been a pivotal figure for the Black Cats under Poyet’s stewardship.
Jenkins said: “He is our player and we can recall him up until January 31.”
But SportMail understands that under the terms of the loan agreement penned between Sunderland and Swansea during the summer, there is now no possibility of Ki being recalled, after the deadline to do so has indeed passed.
Sunderland experienced a similar situation with Danny Rose last season, when parent club Spurs had to activate the recall clause before a certain date in January.
In practical terms, Ki was unlikely to be taken back anyway, despite Swansea midfielders Jose Canas and Jonathan de Guzman being sidelined by injury.
Ki was not in Swans boss Michael Laudrup’s plans earlier in the season and the 24-year-old is on a lucrative contract in South Wales after joining in a £6million move from Celtic 18 months ago.
But as Poyet remarked at Craven Cottage, confirmation that Ki will remain on Wearside until at least the summer is much-welcome news after netting his third goal for the Black Cats in the 4-1 win.
Poyet said: “Swansea had an opportunity to call him back and they didn’t. That was a difficult day for me because I was waiting and waiting.”
Sunderland’s hope now is to push through a permanent deal for Ki.
Swansea are likely to be open to negotiation, as Ki will have just 12 months remaining on his contract after the end of his loan spell.
And after emerging as a key figure under Poyet, Ki is clearly enjoying his time at the Stadium of Light.
Earlier this week, Poyet said on Sunderland’s chances of signing Ki permanently: “There is a chance.
“I think there are a couple of things we need to make sure — where we are and where we want to go, and with the player as well.
“I can see that he’s enjoying his football and making a difference.”