Why Sunderland and Southampton must rekindle interest in African star

McDonald Mariga was a summer target for Southampton and Sunderland prior to signing for Parma and could be available for nothing if the Serie A club folds.

Linked with a move to the Premier League at several points over the last five years, McDonald Mariga could yet arrive on English shores this season if current club Parma is dissolved.

The Kenya international, who is the older brother of Southampton’s Victor Wanyama, was previously set to sign for Manchester City in 2010, per the BBC, only for work permit issues to prevent the deal going through.

Instead the midfielder moved to Inter Milan but after struggling for game time at the San Siro, a move to England appeared back on the cards with HereIsTheCity reporting as much back in the summer of 2014.

At the time both Sunderland and Southampton were being linked with bids for the Kenyan who had been largely coy on the subject of his future prior to his Inter exit.

"There are a couple of offers on the table but I have not yet made a decision on where I will go. I am still studying them and getting advice as well but I will make a decision soon," he told Goal.com in May of last year.

But when the dust settled it was Parma, rather than either of the Premier League sides, that Mariga opted for.

Yet with the Serie A club looking increasingly likely to be going out of business, with demotion among the punishments set to be metered out, a move away to either of those clubs may look very tempting at this present point in time.

Sunderland are in desperate need of experienced, quality reinforcements in the midfield, with the likes of Emanuele Giaccherini already sidelined through injury, and Mariga certainly fits the bill.

However, any offer from Southampton is likely to be the player’s preference.

The Saints are currently battling to finish in the top four of the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League, while the presence of Mariga’s brother in the first-team squad is also a major plus.

But with so many top-flight sides looking for reinforcements, it would not be a massive shock to see a Premier League outfit of some description pounce for the man who was so nearly a Manchester City star.

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