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Gossip: Napoli abandon pursuit for winger; Pogba was a Sunderland target & French midfielder linked

In this morning's gossip roundup: Napoli are said to have abandoned a move for Jeremain Lens - if indeed they were ever interested in the Sunderland winger. Reports indicate the Black Cats tried to land a member of the Pogba clan last summer; Big Sam is linked with Lamine Kone again and a French midfielder is said to have been interesting David Moyes.

AS Saint-Etienne v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Napoli said to have no interest in Jeremain Lens

Although it's difficult to summon up much interest in the ongoing saga that is Jeremain Lens, the Dutch winger may represent a cash inflow some day if Sunderland can sell him to a club willing to stump up what was paid for him back in 2015.

Watford v Sunderland - Premier League

Reports last week suggested Napoli had joined the race to land the 29-year-old when his current season-long loan spell at Fenerbahçe is completed at the end of next month.

But now there's conflicting suggestions that the Serie A club were actually in Turkey to discuss a move for Portuguese winger Bruma instead. The 22-year-old plays for Fener's Istanbul city rivals Galatasaray which would explain their presence in the Turkish capital.

Lens is under contract at Sunderland until 2019 having signed a four-year deal when he was lured to the Stadium of Light under Dick Advocaat's tutelage with the Black Cats. For his part, the veteran coach has announced he intends to retire from football at the end of the season.


Sunderland were after Pogba clan member last summer

According to a report in France Football, Sunderland made an attempt to land Florentin Pogba - brother of Paul - last summer.

Manchester United v AS Saint-Etienne - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: First Leg
The Pogba brothers - Florentin & Paul
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The Guinean international has been with French outfit Saint-Etienne since 2012 and the report suggests he will be allowed to leave the club who are currently 6th in Ligue 1 at the end of the season.

Certainly there were whispers of Sunderland's interest a year ago which resurfaced briefly in January. The 26-year-old defender has a twin, Mathia, who plays in the Netherlands for Sparta Rotterdam.

Pogba has played 15 games in Ligue 1, mainly at centre-half though he has also turned out in a left-back slot regularly too. His campaign has been plagued by injury with a recurring hip/thigh problem.

In recent days the 6ft 3in defender has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Arsenal said to be pondering rekindling a sometime mentioned interest.


Januzaj - top dribbler

The CIES Football Observatory have ranked Adnan Januzaj as the 75th 'best' dribbler in Europe's top five leagues this season.

Watford v Sunderland - Premier League
Dribbling into bother - Januzaj takes on Miguel Britos of Watford
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Compiling stats from England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, the football research body calculated its 'dribbling register' by dividing the number of dribbles attempted by each player by the percentages of successful ones.

Middlesbrough's Adama Traore came out on top of all the players monitored and was ranked with 100 points, Januzaj, who has spent this season on loan at Sunderland, rated at 73.6. Eden Hazard ranked at second with a score of 99.7 and Stephan Sessegnon - currently with Montpellier made joint 33rd place with 78.7.

You can have a browse of the full list here.

Januzaj has not started a game for Sunderland since the trip to Watford at the start of this month and is widely assumed to be free to leave Manchester United in the summer. The 22-year-old is a target for a host of European clubs but is thought to be keen to stay in the Premier League.


Big Sam wants Kone still

He may have been dropped from the Sunderland starting eleven in recent games and been a regular in David Moyes' dismal defence, but fresh reports have again linked Lamine Kone with a Sam Allardyce reunion in the summer.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League
Lamine Kone
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The Ivorian has had precious few decent games for the Black Cats this season, but that hasn't stopped the 27-year-old being continually linked with West Ham, Everton and Big Sam's Crystal Palace.

Allardyce & Moyes linked with French midfielder

Speaking of Big Sam, according to the Daily Mail, Crystal Palace will rival Sunderland for Soualiho Meite this summer. The defensive midfielder is currently on loan at Belgian side S.V. Zulte Waragem from French outfit Lille.

LOSC Lille v AS Monaco FC - Ligue 1
Soualiho Meite playing for Lille (R)
Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images

The 23-year-old has had a good season in the Pro League. Standing at 6ft 2in, the powerful player is attracting interest from around Europe. Whether a spell in England's second-tier with Sunderland would entice him to these shores remains to be seen.