THE prospect of Ki Sung-Yueng returning to Wearside next season has receded with Swansea boss Garry Monk suggesting the South Korean is part of his plans.
Ki spent a successful season-long loan at Sunderland in 2013-14 making 34 appearances, scoring four goals and adding a touch of class and composure to the Black Cats midfield.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet hinted during the season he would be happy to take the 25-year-old back to Wearside again on a temporary or permanent basis, especially when former Swans’ boss Michael Laudrup suggested Ki no longer featured in his plans.
But Monk appears to be an admirer of the former Celtic man and is preparing for a campaign with the Asian international at the Liberty Stadium.
“I think Ki is a quality player and, as things stand, he will be with us next season,” said Monk.
“Ki can add quality to our squad, he proved that with his performances at Sunderland last season.
“If he is with us next season and he plays and he does well, we will then look at extending his contract.”
It remains to be seen how keen the Swans will be to hang on to a player who is now entering the last year of his contract and could leave for free on a Bosman next summer.
Sunderland are also in for Swansea centre-half Ashley Williams, also in the last year of his contract, and the Welsh outfit might find it difficult to turn down ambitious offers for either player.
Meanwhile, Sunderland target Fabio Borini has been linked with being a make-weight in Liverpool’s bid for Southampton attacker Adam Lallana.
The Reds are believed to have tabled a £20m bid for the England international with Borini being mooted as part of the deal in a bid to tempt the Saints.