Sunderland to use Mignolet money to land Mendy and Duncan

Sunderland are lining up two big moves as their summer re-building programme continues.

Paulo Di Canio’s has been busy this summer and he looks set to add to the growing number of new faces on wearside by beating Arsenal to the signature of highly rated defender Benjamin Mendy.

According to reports Black Cats manager Paulo Di Canio has agreed a fee with Ligue 2 side Le Harve for the left back and have been given permission to talk to the player about a move.

The talented 18-year-old has been linked with Arsenal and Cardiff with the Gunners holding a long term interest in the player. Reports in the Daily Mail claimed that Arsene Wenger had offered £2.5 million for the French youth International but the club were holding out for double that.

With Arsenal pondering their next move it seems that Sunderland have stolen a march on their rivals and are now in pole position to land the full-back.

Ligue 1 sides Marseille and Lyon have also been credited with an interest in Mendy but the player is keen to try his luck in England with the player recently quoted as saying“I have always dreamt of playing in England so I am happy to be linked with English clubs.

“I know it is a big step to go there straight away, but if you want to progress in Europe you need to play at the top level.”

Should the player agree terms he would replace last season’s first choice left back Danny Rose, who has returned to his parent club Spurs and join the growing French contingent in the North-East of England.

Di Canio has already signed French players Modibo Diakite and Valentin Roberge from Lazio and Maritimo respectively this summer while deadly rivals Newcastle boost no fewer than 10 French players on their books.

Sunderland have been very prominent in the transfer market so far with seven new faces agreeing moves to the Stadium of Light and with Di Canio promising to spend the money from the sale of Mignolet to Liverpool Mendy and Inter Milan midfielder Alfred Duncan could be the eighth and ninth signing of the summer.

20 year old Ghana star Duncan, compared to Michael Essien, has been linked with a move to the Stadium of Light.

The player has welcomed the interest by declaring “I am flattered by the interest of Sunderland. I know the scout of Sunderland has been watching me.

“To be honest, though, nothing has been done and Inter will have a big say if I leave Inter or not.

“Fans compare me with Essien and if I can have half of his career I will be very happy.

“He is the best midfielder ever in Ghana. He played box-to-box, could break play up and could dictate play at the same time.”

Duncan would reportedly cost in excess of £5 million pounds but with new Sunderland chief scout Valentino Angeloni a huge fan the club could push through a move.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.