Inter Milan have told Sunderland to forget about landing top target Alfred Duncan on a permanent basis – although they will consider a season-long loan.
The Black Cats unveiled three new signings yesterday morning – with a fourth in Le Havre youngster El-Hadji Ba set to be confirmed today. But it is the highly-rated Duncan who has become the main focus of director of football Roberto De Fanti’s attention over the last few days as he presses Inter for an answer on Sunderland’s £7million bid.
De Fanti was in Milan on Friday to meet Inter officials and will return later this week to talk to Duncan’s representatives and set out the role he can play in Paolo Di Canio’s new-look Sunderland next season.
Inter are understood to be receptive to a loan, but seem cautious about allowing Duncan (pictured left) , who is one of the hottest prospects in their Academy, to leave – even though Sunderland’s offer is under consideration. Reports in Italy yesterday claimed that the decision would be left with Inter boss Walter Mazzarri, but that the Milan giants have pre-warned Sunderland to look elsewhere. They also have an interest in Daniel Bessa, the midfielder, and Ibrahim M’Biaye. For the Black Cats, July 1 represented the start of a new era with the official announcement of midfielder Cabral and defenders Modibo Diakite and Valentin Roberge signing three-year contracts.
Sunderland hope to announce the signings of defenders Benjamin Mendy and Argentina Gino Peruzzi before the end of the week – and have also been credited with an interest in Premier League stars Tom Huddlestone and Wigan’s Callum McManaman.
There are likely to be more outgoings before the start of the campaign, however, even though Lee Cattermole, Stï¿½phane Sessï¿½gnon and Phil Bardsley will join the rest of the squad in pre-season training later this week. There is interest in all three but Bardsley appears to be the closest to an exit, with interest from three Premier League clubs.
Meanwhile, Ba confirmed in an interview yesterday that he will be playing for Sunderland next season.
The Journal revealed the Black Cats’ interest in the young midfielder back in January and he will now join the development squad.
“I know he is a manager who likes to win, like me,” he told GFN news.
He could have signed for Tottenham but said he was delighted to sign for Sunderland.
“There was a moment where they wanted me, but now it is in the past. I am happy to go to Sunderland. I like the atmosphere of the club and the supporters.
“I feel great. I cannot wait to go to Sunderland to show them what I am capable of. I had other clubs who were interested in me, but Sunderland have wanted me for ages, even before I turned pro. That is what tipped the decision in their favour.”