Reports: Sunderland Explore Ligue 1 Alternative As De Ceglie Bid Stalls

I am trying to remember a day there wasn't a new story about Sunderland and left backs. I can't.

According to widespread reports in France, Sunderland are exploring the possibility of signing Toulouse left back Cheikh M'Bengue.

Juventus' Paolo De Ceglie appeared to be the main target, and could well still be, but talks with the 26-year-old are apparently faltering with the player himself said to be asking for a bit of a wage-hike as an incentive to leave his comfort zone of Turin.

Ellis Short stressed in his programme notes on Saturday the importance of finding value in the transfer market and Director of Football Roberto Di Fanti also recently laid down the law to potential new recruits who appear intent upon seeing the club as an easy pay-day:

The player must not think ‘I’m going to Sunderland to earn a lot of money’. If they perform, they will earn.

Whether or not a resolution can be found remains to be seen, however there looks to be a contingency in mind should De Ceglie opt to stay at Juventus. The Journal first brought M'Bengue's name to the discussion two weeks ago, insisting that he had been offered to Sunderland and had come under some serious consideration by the club's new recruitment staff.

Now it seems that option is being explored more fully, with a knock-down price of €2.5m being suggested for a player entering the last year of his contract.

I remember the day well that Sunderland last signed a genuine specialist left back. I think I was sat in front of the TV watching The Fresh Price of Bel Air whilst winding up a repaired Blur cassette with a pencil, wondering 'who is this Martin Scott, like?' or something . What's an extra couple of weeks?

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