Sunderland monitoring defensive options as fringe player heads for loan departure

Could Lamine Kone leave SAFC today?
Could Lamine Kone leave SAFC today?

Adding extra firepower to his Sunderland squad may be the priority for Simon Grayson, but deadline day could also see his defensive options reshaped.

Papy Djilobodji is in talks with Ligue 1 side Dijon over a potential season-long loan move.

The Senegalese defender is out of favour under Simon Grayson and letting him go could allow him to bring in more reliable cover.

The Black Cats have stepped up their interest in Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick, a player they have been tracking all summer.

Villa boss Steve Bruce said last week that Elphick would likely leave the club, but the situation has been complicated by an injury to Chris Samba and Sunderland’s current preference for a loan deal.

A deal at this stage therefore looks unlikely.

Reports have also linked Sunderland with loan moves for two further defenders.

Sunderland have been tracking Marc Wilson’s situation at Bournemouth, one of three players from the South Coast club that Grayson was keen on, as well as Lewis Grabban and Max Gradel.

The 30-year-old looks set to leave on deadline day, but the Black Cats face competition from West Brom, where Wilson spent last season on loan. Tony Pulis signed Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs and PSG midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak on Wednesday, but, with Jonny Evans nearing a move to Manchester City, the Baggies boss is likely to go back into the market on deadline day.

Another name linked with the Wearsiders is the Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo.

The 19-year-old signed a long-term deal in June. but Pep Guardiola is thought to be considering allowing him to go out loan.

The Black Cats can have eight loan players on their books, but can only name five in any given matchday squad.

That will be in Grayson and Martin Bain’s thoughts, with established first-team players Brendan Galloway, Tyias Browning and Lewis Grabban already on loan.

The future of Lamine Kone will also have a significant impact on Sunderland’s defensive plans.

Sunderland are yet to field an offer for the centre-back but will allow him to leave should their asking price be met.