Olympique De Marseille Want Manquillo Back
According to reports in France, Marseille will move to take Javier Manquillo off Sunderland's hands in January.
The Spaniard is currently on loan at the Stadium of Light but after a difficult start to the season lost his place at right-back a month ago.
Manquillo was dropped for the visit of Arsenal at the end of October, and despite Sunderland conceding four goals his replacement, Billy Jones, escaped the thumping with plenty of credit.
And since then, in the victories against Bournemouth and Hull City, Jones has impressed. His defensive awareness has been top drawer and he has looked assured going forward.
Javi Manquillo spent last season on loan at Marseille and the French giants were desperate to get him back during the summer. However, Atletico Madrid were minded to cash the player in and wanted to make the move a permanent one. Negotiations between the two clubs ultimately broke down.
And that is where Sunderland came in. The reluctance of first Sam Allardyce and then David Moyes to resign last season's loanee, DeAndre Yedlin, left a vacancy at right-back. Watford were also reportedly in touch with Madrid to capture Manquillo, but the lure of the Stadium of Light meant the Spain Under-21 international opted for a move to the North East.
Reports two weeks ago suggested Sunderland were obliged to sign Manquillo on a permanent basis upon reaching 25 appearances. The Sunderland Echo have since reported such rumours were inaccurate.
Certainly at least two outlets in France have claimed Manquillo's failure to make an impact in the Premier League has alerted Marseille to his potential availability. And you can expect to see English websites run the story over the weekend.
So, is it true? Well, probably not.
The original source of the rumours is this article featured on le10sport.com. What the piece says is that Rudi Garcia, manager of Olympique Marseille, will be on the hunt for a full-back in the January transfer window and suggests Manquillo may be an option because of his struggles in England.
And that's it. No one knows what's in the terms of his agreement with Sunderland and whether a break clause midway during the season is included.
However, with money rumoured to be tight at the Stadium of Light in the upcoming transfer window, loan deals may be the only option to add some much-needed quality; and currently, Javier Manquillo is occupying one of those spots and not playing.
Coates Crocks Bale
Sunderland defender, Sebastian Coates, has become a hit with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale - literally.
The £300,000-a-week Welshman was crocked by the Uruguayan in the 58th minute of Real's Champions League tie against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night.
And that follows a near-identical clash in the first match between the two in this year's competition. That night Bale was withdrawn after 67-minutes following a coming together with Coates.
An expensive loan if ever there was one.
Board Board The Titanic
Those Sunderland directors attending today's clash with Liverpool at Anfield stayed at Liverpool's Titanic Hotel last night.
The hotel boasts:
Chic, contemporary rooms featuring luxe linens, designer toiletries and bathrooms with rainfall showers, plus free WiFi and flat-screen TVs. Upgraded rooms add sitting areas and views of the docks, and a suite adds separate entertainment space.
An on-site restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and there's a late-night bar. Other amenities include an indoor pool and a spa, plus conferences spaces.