Sunderland cool on swoop for Lyon midfielder Grenier
Clement Grenier is unlikely to take the place of fellow midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini on Sunderland's books.
French club Lyon publicly confirmed last weekend that Sunderland had made a bid for ex-Newcastle transfer target Grenier, who has also been linked with Middlesbrough this summer.
Grenier is on the transfer list at Lyon and the Ligue 1 outfit’s chairman was evidently looking to flush out interest in the France international, whose stock has fallen over the last two years due to injury troubles.
However, it is understood that despite Sunderland’s approach, they are unlikely to follow up their interest in Grenier and he is not among the Black Cats’ main midfield targets this summer.
Sunderland are yet to bring in any fresh faces during the close season – albeit the transfer window only formally opened last Friday – but Sam Allardyce is keen to bolster his options in the middle of the park.
Allardyce wants a box-to-box player, an attacking midfielder, plus the return of last season’s loanee Yann M’Vila, who remains in limbo at parent club Rubin Kazan.
M’Vila has not been included on Kazan’s pre-season tour of Austria, but Sunderland are yet to reach an agreement over a transfer fee with the Russian club, who are looking for a sizeable return, despite only six months remaining on the Frenchman’s contract.
Sunderland are making progress on offloading a midfielder though, with Torino now in pole position to land Giaccherini after reports emerged in Italy that the Serie A outfit were close to agreeing a £1.5million fee with the Black Cats.
Meanwhile, ex-Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone has stressed his happiness with life at Sunderland after penning a new two-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
The Italian said: “I’m really pleased. What a way to start the season.
“It’s a massive boost for me and my family. We love it here. I love the club and the fans, so it’s a great deal for me.
“Hopefully, we can have a great season ahead of us.
“I’ve been here three years now and I’ve really enjoyed playing my football here.”
Mannone and his Sunderland team-mates returned to the Academy of Light on Monday for the start of pre-season, with Allardyce taking his squad to Austria tomorrow for an intensivetraining camp.
And the ex-Arsenal man admits he was glad to return to work, with a buzz still in the air from last season’s escape from the drop.
“During your holidays, you obviously enjoy your family time, but it’s always in the back of your mind of missing football,” he added to the club website.
“You miss the games, especially when you’ve done well towards the end of the season.
“I’m glad to be back and I can’t wait to get going.”