Poor form to cost Sulley Muntari Sunderland deal

SULLEY Muntari’s form, rather than his wage demands, have ended any hopes of his loan move to Sunderland being made permanent.

The Ghanaian’s agent Fabien Piveteau claimed today that the Black Cats cannot afford to sign the Inter Milan midfielder on full-time from next season.

He said: “There is no chance for Sulley. They have decided he is too expensive.”

But SportMail understands that despite Sunderland needing to smash their wage structure in order to land the 26-year-old, the club would have been prepared to do so had the African displayed the sort of form which made him such a success in his one season at Portsmouth and in his early days at Inter.

Chairman Niall Quinn and chief executive Steve Walton had been in the early stages of financial planning for the possibility of manager Steve Bruce wanting Muntari to be signed permanently in the summer and the club would have looked at both the hefty transfer fee and equally as hefty wages if Bruce had identified Muntari as one of the key players to take Sunderland forward next season.

But the Ghanaian has not impressed in his eight games since arriving on loan until the end of the season in January.

And with rumours circulating that the midfielder has not shown the right attitude since joining the club, it’s not a major surprise that Sunderland will not be pursuing his signature when the season ends.

The same agent who represents Muntari also represents John Mensah and Piveteau believes that the Ghanaian captain could be back on Wearside for a third loan spell in the 2011-12 campaign.

He said: “For John there is a good chance.

“The situation with him is that if he played 25 games he would definitely sign for Sunderland but he has only played 18 at the moment.

“He has not played all of the games but this season it has been a different type of injuries for John.”

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Mail