Benjamin Mendy deal still hangs in the balance for Sunderland

Mendy is keeping his options open despite his club Le Havre agreeing terms with Sunderland for the teenager

Benjamin Mendy
Benjamin Mendy

Benjamin Mendy is keeping his options open despite his club Le Havre agreeing terms with Sunderland for the teenager.

The French side have accepted an offer from the Black Cats for the defender and say Mendy is free to discuss personal terms with the Wearsiders. Mendy is also wanted by Lyon, while Arsenal have also been linked with the highly-rated 18-year-old left-back.

While Mendy is aware of the Black Cats’ interest, he insists ‘between Sunderland and me there is nothing signed’.

Mendy is captain of the France under-19 side and is currently preparing for the European Under-19 Championships in Lithuania next month.

However, asked about the Wearsiders’ interest, he said: “There is nothing yet.

“Surely there is an agreement between Sunderland and Le Havre, but between Sunderland and me there is nothing signed.” Mendy has been linked with a host of clubs in France and England and says he understands Lyon have also made an offer for his services.

He added: “From what I know, Lyon made an offer.

“I just returned from vacation. I think there are discussions, but I do not know any

more.” Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel says Sunderland are the only club who have had an offer accepted for the youngster at this stage, although he has not ruled out the possibility of Lyon submitting an improved bid.

He said: “We have reached agreement with Sunderland for the transfer of Mendy.

“It’s now up to him to reach an agreement with them. We are okay.

“We were close to an agreement with Lyon.

“It has not happened but you never know.

“Right now, the only club we are in agreement with is Sunderland and it is now up to Benjamin to make his choice.”

Mendy has indicated he would prefer to stay in France, but also admitted he would be open to a move to the Premier League.

He said: “My priority is to move to a club where I have time to play and where the coach will trust me.

“ If that is in France, so much the better, but if it is England I cannot complain.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world.

“If I find a coach who wants me, why not?

“It is also interesting to stay in the L1 [French League One].

“Especially when it comes to top clubs like Lyon or Marseille playing the Champions League.”

Sunderland have been looking for a specialist left-back for some time and had been expected to try sign Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose – who spent last season on loan with the Wearsiders – on a permanent basis.

However, if Mendy opts to join Paolo Di Canio’s side, it would suggest the Black Cats will not follow up their interest in England uUnder-21 international Rose.

Sunderland have already confirmed five new signings this summer, with Swiss midfielder Cabral and French defenders Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakit� due to join on July 1 on Bosman deals, while Altrincham striker Duncan Watmore and Swedish winger David Moberg Karlsson are already on board.

French midfielder El-Hadji Ba – who is a teammate of Mendy – has also agreed to join Sunderland.

Premier League News

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer