Sunderland have held talks with Lorient defender Lamine Gassama, according to The Times.
It has been further reported by the British newspaper that the 26-year-old right-back will remain at Lorient and not move to Sunderland in the January transfer window.
“Lamine Gassama, the right back, is expected to stay at Lorient after talks with Sunderland,” states the report in The Times.
Gassama has been on the books of Lorient since 2012 and has a contract until the end of the season.
It means that if Sunderland are patient enough, then they would be able to sign the 26-year-old former Lyon man on a free transfer in the summer.
Of course, there is the risk that Gassama could sign a new deal with Lorient or be prised away by another club.
Gassama has made 19 appearances in Ligue 1 for Lorient so far this season, creating nine chances in the process.
The 26-year-old Senegal international right-back has a pass accuracy of 80%, and has won 11 headers, 27 dribbles and 31 tackles.