SUNDERLAND are setting up a last-minute move for Manchester United left-back Alex Buttner as Ki Song-Yeung prepares to move to the Stadium of Light.
The South Korean midfielder said goodbye to his team-mates at the Liberty Stadium yesterday in readiness for a season-long stay on Wearside.
And Sunderland hope that by the time Monday’s transfer deadline passes, United defender Buttner will have joined him on loan too.
Ki will arrive at Sunderland with question marks over him having slipped down the pecking order in Wales to the point where he was fifth choice.
He is neither the ‘English creative midfielder’, nor the player with ‘physical presence’ that Paolo Di Canio had outlined in his blueprint to the club’s scouting staff, and as such has a lot to prove.
But Buttner looks the real deal, having played five times in first season at Old Trafford, scoring twice, and the Dutchman is determined to perform well enough this season to earn elevation to the senior international squad.
Sunderland, who had on-loan Spurs man Danny Rose excelling in that position last season, would love to add Buttner to their squad.
But the chances of the 24-year-old coming to the Stadium of Light are believed to hinge entirely on Everton’s Leighton Baines completing a move to Old Trafford before the transfer deadline on Monday.