ALFRED N’Diaye’s inclusion on Sunderland’s pre-season trip to Portugal is NO guarantee of the midfielder’s part in Gus Poyet’s plans.
N’Diaye has featured in four of Sunderland’s five friendlies so far this summer and is likely to be involved again in tomorrow’s final game here in the Algarve against Vitoria Setubal.
But the Senegal international’s future at the Stadium of Light remains uncertain, with Real Betis still hoping to re-sign him after spending the second half of last season at the Spanish club.
As the Echo reported yesterday, Betis have re-entered into talks with Sunderland over N’Diaye and are proposing an initial transfer fee, followed by a subsequent payment when they earn promotion back to La Liga.
And when asked whether N’Diaye had a future at the club, Poyet was non-committal over the 24-year-old, with the Sunderland boss still hoping for two fresh arrivals in the middle of the park this summer.
Poyet said: “If you think about the central midfielders I can play at the moment – Jordi Gomez, Seb Larsson, maybe (Emanuele) Giaccherini – aside from Alfred, there is nobody else.
“The only other thing I could do is to change the system and play Liam (Bridcutt) and Lee (Cattermole) together but I don’t want to do that.”
However, N’Diaye’s slim chances of remaining at Sunderland are certainly better than the prospects of Danny Graham, Modibo Diakite, Cabral and David Moberg Karlsson.
The quartet have all been left behind on Wearside this week, while the first-team have prepared for the new campaign in Portugal, and it has been made clear that they have no future at the club.
Poyet added: “It’s hard. It’s not nice, because they are part of the club and part of the culture.
“But I get paid to make decisions and which players to leave behind is one of those decisions too.
“Diakite is not here, Cabral is not here, Danny Graham is not here, David Moberg-Karlsson is not here.
“And David Ferguson and Duncan Watmore, who have trained with us in pre-season, are not here either.
“I need to start setting up my first-team squad and I need to train certain things that are very important for me.
“If they are not going to be a part of things it is better not to bring them.”