Sunderland canntt buy unless they sell this month. And the prospect of failing to reinforce a side sitting bottom of the Championship halfway through the season doesn’t bare thinking about with the spectre of successive relegations looming.
So reports in L’Equipe that £13.6 million club-record signing Didier Ndong had been lined up for a return to the Premier League was music to the ears of Sunderland supporters.
The problem, however, is that Watford only wanted to sign the Gabonese midfielder on loan for the rest of the season with the option to make the deal permanent for about £8 million in the summer.
Sunderland, however, need the money now, not a few months down the line. Fortunately, however, manager Chris Coleman appears to have put a stop to a deal that would have made absolutely no sense for the Wearside giants.
"There will be no loan deals,” Coleman said in quotes reported by the Shields Gazette.
“We have had a couple of enquiries about Didier but just loan deals and that's not something we're going to agree to unless there's an absolute guarantee at the end of it, and, at the minute, there isn’t so we’re not anywhere further forward than that.”
It is understood that Ndong does want to leave Sunderland this month a year-and-a-half after his big money move from Lorient. And although the club would be posting a substantial loss, an £8 million windfall could go some way to paying for one or two new signings.
So Sunderland clearly cannot afford to let one of their most sellable assets leave for nothing at precisely the time when they are crying out for further transfer funds.