Seb Larsson has indicated that he is keen to re-sign for Sunderland – if the club can meet his demands.
The Black Cats re-opened talks with the Sweden winger in the final weeks of the season after previously indicating that they would let him leave in the summer.
And a first round of talks between the midfielder and the club have been productive, with Larsson now hinting that he wants to stay in England and that Sunderland are his preferred option.
The Journal understands that he is seeking reassurances about the place he will have in Gus Poyet’s plans, with Larsson desperate not to have to endure long spells on the bench next season.
West Ham have already made him a contract offer and Steve Bruce’s Hull City are understood to be interested in signing the winger. But speaking while on international duty, Larsson has hinted that he wants to stay in “good place” Sunderland.
“I’ve never closed the door. It depends on what the conversations provide, what the club want and I want,” he said.
“We’ve had a turbulent two years, but purely socially and in terms of football it has been a good place to be even though it’s been up and down. But that does not mean I have signed for them.”
There has been talk about a move overseas with Borussia Monchengladbach understood to have registered interest in Larsson, but he says that he would prefer to stay in the Premier League.
Larsson has spent most of his professional career in the Premier League and is one of Sunderland’s longest-serving players.
He said: “While I have been in England a long time and I feel incredibly good in England. We thrive socially and in terms of football. I will say it again. Overall, it is the best and most exciting league in the world, I think.
“Thinking about leaving if there is a chance to stay would be pretty difficult. But I’m still open. We look at the options available and will pick out the one that feels best.”
Meanwhile, Emanuele Giaccherini’s agent Furio Valcareggi insists that his client will definitely be staying at the Stadium of Light next term.
The Black Cats signed the Italian last summer on a lucrative deal as part of the Paolo Di Canio “revolution” but he found it difficult in his first season on Wearside – only breaking into Gus Poyet’s plans in the latter stages of the campaign.
But the player’s representative says that Giaccherini intends to stay at Sunderland and is desperate to spend another three years at the club.
He said: “If Sunderland were relegated it was obvious that the contract was expensive and we might have had to look at it, but now that the club is safe and in the Premier League, we remain there. There is not a problem with Poyet.
“Emanuele is happy. If he felt otherwise he would have stayed at Juventus. Juve had asked us if we wanted to go or stay, we talked to Conte and with great regret we gave the OK to leave and also to realize an economic dream for him because Emanuele has made a very good contract with Sunderland.”