Sebastian Coates would be open to staying at Sunderland if the Black Cats launch a permanent move for the Liverpool defender this summer.
On-loan Liverpool centre-half Coates has proved to be a revelation over the last five games, with the Uruguayan again colossal in Wednesday’s draw at Arsenal which secured Sunderland’s Premier League survival.
I have to go back to Liverpool and then we’ll see.
That has suddenly raised the issue of Coates’ future at the Stadium of Light and whether the Black Cats will aim to keep hold of the 24-year-old, rather than simply let him return to Liverpool.
Coates only has 12 months remaining on his contract at Anfield and Liverpool are thought to be prepared to get him off the books this summer for a fraction of the £7million they invested three years ago.
“Yes, it’s something I’d consider if it became a possibility,” Coates said. “I don’t know what is going to happen yet, I have to go back to Liverpool and then we’ll see.”
Coates was part of a Sunderland defensive line that showed dogged determination at Arsenal to grind out the stalemate which secured the Black Cats’ Premier League status.
That ensured Sunderland avoid the tension-filled scenario of heading into this Sunday’s final game of the season at Premier League champions Chelsea needing to get a positive result, with Hull and Newcastle now the remaining two teams fighting to avoid the last relegation spot.
Coates said: “We suffered at the end at Arsenal because they played very well.
“But we knew we needed a point and now we can enjoy the final day at Chelsea.
“It was a hard game, but I think we deserved that point and deserved to stay up.
“We’ve had five or six games where we knew we needed to get some points and we have done that.
“It’s good to look at the table now and to know we’re staying up.
“It’s important that we don’t have to go to Chelsea needing to get something because they are the champions and they are in form.
“If we’d lost at Arsenal, it would have been crazy because you’re worrying about the other games.
“Now it will be difficult, but we can enjoy it.”