Ghana captain and central defender John Mensah is nearing a return to Sunderland, according to the player’s agent.
Mensah spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light, and the 27-year-old, who led Ghana at the World Cup, could make a permanent move from Lyon to the Premier League.
Sunderland are 7/4 to finish in the top ten this season, and the rock solid Mensah would be an excellent addition to the Black Cats’ backline.
“There are negotiations going on at the moment,” said Mensah’s agent Fabian Pivateau. “I think everything will be finalised by the middle of the week.”
Sunderland’s preparations for the new season have been hit, however, by an injury to centre-back Anton Ferdinand.
Ferdinand sustained a hamstring injury during the Black Cats’ 2-1 friendly win over Leicester City, and the club are nervously awaiting scan results to determine the extent of the damage.
Should the former West Ham centre-back’s ailment prove serious, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce could find himself without four defenders.
Michael Turner, George McCartney and new signing Titus Bramble are already out of action, and time is running out for them to be passed fit for the season’s start.
Sunderland wobbled at the end of last season, and at 7/1 to be relegated, Bruce’s side could be vulnerable if they were to suffer many more injuries.
Sunderland’s next match, against Hoffenheim on August 8th, will be their final warm-up game ahead of their Premier League opener against Birmingham City.
How do you think Sunderland will do? They are 10/1 to finish in the top six. See the full Barclays Premier League Betting Odds market.