Ndong close to finding new club
Sacked Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong could be about to reignite his career with a move back to Ligue 1.
According to Gabonese outlet iSport, Ndong has left Gabon capital Libreville to head to France where he is expected to sign a ‘multi-season’ contract with Ligue 1’s bottom side Giungamp.
Should that move be finalised, Sunderland will be due a financial windfall after they and Ndong agreed a settlement when the player was sacked in October which will see the club receive around £3.5m should he find a new club.
Two ‘offers’ for Borini
Fabio Borini has been linked with a move away from AC Milan during the upcoming transfer window, as the Serie A side look to balance the books following a punishment from UEFA for breaking Financial Fair Play rules.
According to reports in Italy, Borini has offers from two sides, namely Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United and Chinese outfit Shenzen FC.
Tuttomercatoweb claims that Milan value the striker, who joined the club permanently from Sunderland for a fee of €6m in the summer, at €10-12m.
Howe plans Defoe talks
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has admitted that he will sit down to talk to former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe about his future.
Defoe has been linked with a move to a number of clubs ahead of the January transfer window, including Sunderland, and Howe was asked whether the striker would still be part of his squad after the transfer window but couldn’t give an answer:
It’s a difficult one to answer. I couldn’t give an absolute clear black and white answer to a lot of the players in the squad. The ones who aren’t playing regularly are very keen for football.
I will have to sit down with Jermain and have that conversation. He is someone we hold in such high regard and has done such a great job here in many different ways.
Even before the game against Chelsea, he was talking to Lys (Mousset) and giving Lys his experience and guidance. That for me is like gold dust. He has trained very well, his attitude and conduct has been first-class. Let’s wait and see.
I can sympathise with anybody who has shown the attitude he’s shown and isn’t playing regularly, His professionalism has been of the highest quality and I had no doubt that would be the case with Jermain – hence one of the reasons we brought him to the football club.
Like any one of the squad, he’s desperate to play and feels he can contribute. He is still an outstanding player when I see him in training and what he has delivered is of the highest quality.
The difficulty for me is I’ve got Joshua King, Callum Wilson and Lys, who was outstanding the other day. I have quality players vying for those positions and that’s what I want.
Andrew Nelson started for Darlington in their local derby against York City but Williams Kokolo missed out after being given leave by Sunderland so he could spend time with his family back in France.
The on-loan Sunderland striker was amongst the goals again, as he tucked away two penalties - one of which he won himself - in a comfortable 5-1 win for the home side. That takes his tally to four goals and two assists in just three games for the Quakers, who recorded their first win in 10 games.
Sunderland academy product Liam Agnew made his debut for York City after signing a month long loan deal with the club.
After the match, Darlington’s manager Tommy Wright praised Nelson and said he hopes to keep him a little bit longer than the initial 28-day loan, such has been his impact:
He’s an all-round classy, centre forward. He’s got it all in his locker, some of his touches, he ghosts past people, his footwork is unbelievable and his finishing.
We haven’t had that much contact time on the training pitch, I think it shows the work he’s doing behind the scenes at Sunderland, his recovery has been spot on, they’ve got it down to a tee and now he’s starting to get his sharpness back, I think it’s really showing.
When he’s trained he’s been electric, when he’s played he’s been electric. So it’s showing you the fact that he’s a very, very good player, we’re fortunate to have him and who knows? We’ll ask the question, we’d like to keep him for a little bit longer.
Elliot Embleton started once again for Grimsby as they picked up their fourth League Two win in their last five games.
It was a quieter game than usual from Elliot with his only real chance of note coming early in the second half but the Mariners beat Port Vale thanks to a Wes Thomas strike just after the hour mark.
Luke Molyneux played the full 90 minutes and helped Gateshead to a 2-1 derby win over Hartlepool United in the National League.
Two first half Luke Armstrong goals gave the home side a 2-0 lead, the second of which came after Molyneux found Scott Barrow and his mishit shot landed nicely for Armstrong to tuck away.
Hartlepool nearly found a way back into the game late on after the Heed’s Tom White was sent off, as shortly after Sunderland academy product Liam Noble tucked away a penalty in the 85th minute but the midfielder missed another penalty just before injury time to deny Pools a point.