Moyes Blasts Jeremain Lens as Disgraceful and Disrespectful
It was us who originally set the cat amongst the pigeons, on Wednesday night, by suggesting Jeremain Lens had overstepped the mark by appearing to suggest that he hopes Sunderland are relegated this season to ease his passage towards a permanent move to Fenerbahçe.
Now, in quotes from today' press conference - which you can read in full in today's Daily Mirror - David Moyes has hit out at the want-away winger who has a history of taking a swipe at the club who currently own him and gave him a chance in the world's biggest league.
The Sunderland boss has branded Lens' comments as "disgracefully disrespectful" and that "you would hate to think anyone connected to the club would say that".
Moyes said he was made aware of the midfielder's words when he finished training on Friday and has now suggested there is no way back for the player who never displayed any great interest in playing in the Premier League anyway.
The report also confirms that Sunderland are not paying any of Lens' wages whilst he mooches around Turkey.
The Dutchman's representatives have been increasingly frantic in recent weeks as suggestions continue to surface that Moyes and Co will be looking to flog him to the highest bidder sooner rather than later - whether that be Fenerbahce or someone else - and the 29-year-old is desperate to stay in Turkey with Dick Advocaat who currently manages the Istanbul-based outfit.
The Transfer State of Play
David Moyes batted away questions from reporters in this afternoon's press conference about any of his players linked with moves away. The Sunderland boss was adamant he is in no mood to discuss selling anyone, and he has been keen to reiterate that he does not need to let any of his current first team players go.
He also repeated that Sunderland have little money to play with in the window, but that the club continue to see what they might be able to do.
Does Stewart Downing Fancy a Return to Sunderland?
Now apparently surplus to requirements at the Riverside, Stewart Downing has been told he can leave Middlesbrough, and Sunderland are said to be one of the clubs considering a swoop for him.
Aitor Karanka has suggested that the former England international may find another club during the January transfer window, with Crystal Palace joining Sunderland and West Ham as the Premier League outfits said to be monitoring the situation.
Sam Allardyce is thought to be pondering a loan move for Downing, having previously worked with the winger at West Ham. But with the 32-year-old settled in the North East, he might fancy another shot at life at the Stadium of Light.
Downing spent six weeks at Sunderland as a 19-year-old under Mick McCarthy in England's second-tier. That was season 2003-4, the campaign which ended with Play-Off semi-final penalty agony against Crystal Palace. In fact, it was that long ago, baggy strips were still in fashion!
Patrick van Aanholt is Not For Sale
David Moyes has revealed Sunderland have turned down two bids for left-back Patrick van Aanholt and insisted the Dutchman is not for sale.
Widespread reports yesterday suggested Crystal Palace had lodged an offer of £7m which was swiftly kicked into touch by Sunderland. Since then, Allardyce's fire hose approach to recruiting a left-back has been exposed as he today signed Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester City, whilst Patrice Evra also continues to be linked heavily with a move to big Sam’s new club.
What is mildy amusing of course, is the price at which Big Sam valued van Aanholt when he was in charge at Sunderland. Only a matter of months ago during his spell at the Stadium of Light, Allardyce is thought to have valued his Dutch left-back at £15m - £20m.
Sunderland Lagging In Race For Porto Midfielder
Porto star, Sergio Oliveira, is thought to be wanted by Southampton. Saints boss Claud Puel is rumoured to be readying a bid of £4m for the 24-year old attacking midfielder, but reports in Portugal claim Sunderland are also interested.
Oliveira has barely played in the Primeira Liga for the last two seasons, excluded by the Portuguese side's manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, and packed off on loan to F.C. Paços de Ferreira.
Sunderland are desperate for an attacking body in midfield but Saints are leading the race ahead of a chasing pack which includes French and Greek clubs.
Young Striker Watched?
Widely reported now, but nothing to get excited about. Sunderland are one of a host of clubs who have sent scouts to watch Nottingham Forest's 17-year-old striker, Ben Brereton.
Originally reported by the Nottingham Post, Brereton, was supposedly watched by representatives of Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Sunderland.
In truth, no one really knows who the host of visiting scouts were keeping an eye on, as Forest took on Stoke in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round.