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Claims Watford interest in Didier Ndong is over & midfielder will stay at Sunderland this month

Reports in France claim Watford are no longer interested in Didier Ndong and that the Sunderland midfielder will not be moving in the January transfer window.

Sunderland Training Session Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Reports in France claim Watford have ended their interest in Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong and that the Black Cats record signing expects to remain on Wearside until the end of the season.

There had been claims earlier this month that the Hornets were keen to sign the Gabon international on loan until the end of the season but that their offer had not met with approval from Sunderland.

The proposal from the Premier League side is thought to have contained an automatic purchase option to be triggered upon Ndong playing seventy-five percent of the games for which he would be eligible for selection. That offer seems to have been too risky to consider for the Black Cats.

Cardiff City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Ndong in action before his sending off at Cardiff
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

The report goes further to suggest Ndong now expects to remain at the Stadium of Light until at least the summer and with less than a week until the transfer window slams shut, that seems a pretty decent bet.

Ndong arrived at Sunderland from Lorient in August 2016 for a fee of £13.6m to become the club’s record signing. The fee paid to the then-Ligue 1 outfit surpassed the £13m the Black Cats had paid Rennes in 2010 for Assomoah Gyan.

The 23-year-old has featured 18 times in the Championship this season but is currently suspended after being sent off at Cardiff a little under a fortnight ago. Ndong was given his marching orders for a tackle that appeared to catch Bluebirds forward Junior Hoilett high on the shin.

A subsequent appeal of the red card by Sunderland was dismissed by the FA and the player sat out the first game of his suspension in last weekend’s victory over Hull City. Ndong will not be available for selection until the Black Cats travel to Bristol City in mid-February.

That suspension could well have put off would-be suitors looking for an available midfielder ready to usher straight into their match day squads. Sunderland may have been hoping to cash in on Ndong - one of their few remaining assets with any significant value - to allow Chris Coleman to carry out a little January restructuring of his squad.