REAL Betis have come back in for Sunderland’s Alfred N’Diaye and are hopeful of snapping up the midfielder for a bargain price.
The Spanish outfit, who the Frenchman joined on loan in the January transfer window, had thought the 24-year-old was out of their reach at an anticipated £4m asking price.
But news that the Black Cats are looking at a firesale of their unwanted players has reached the newly-relegated La Liga side and they are now optimistic they can land N’Diaye for as little as a £1.5m down payment.
Sunderland are desperate to offload all players surplus to the requirements of head coach Gus Poyet and as the Echo revealed yesterday have actively tried to recruit Championship interest in several of their bigger name signings who have barely featured for the first team.
The impending transfer of Nacho Scocco to Newell Old Boys for £2.3m looks set to start the ball rolling and a £1.5m switch for N’Diaye could continue the clear-out. Both players have earned respect away from the Stadium of Light - Scocco in South America, N’Diaye in Europe - and ideally the club would have prefered to be patient and hold out for bigger fees.
As it is, they look like losing a £1m on Scocco and potentially more than £2m on N’Diaye, who Martin O’Neill brought to Sunderland in a £3.7m deal in January last year.
But with the club conscious of the need to act quickly now in the transfer market and bound by the rules of Financial Fair Play, they want as much room to manoeuvre in the transfer market as possible.
The revenue from the sales of Scocco, N’Diaye and others will increase Poyet’s spending power in the transfer market.
And, just as importantly, the savings made in wages paid to both players - both brought in on high salaries - will also give Poyet further scope to bring in targets the club has identified.
Reports in Spain suggest Betis are in advanced talks with the Black Cats over the permanent acquisition of N’Diaye.
The midfielder has been back in training at the Academy of Light after rumoured moves to either Betis or their La Liga rivals Sevilla failed to make progress.
Now though Betis are keeping their fingers crossed they can bring in N’Diaye for an initial £1.5m fee, plus add-ons and the only potential sticking point could be the player’s wages, which have not been agreed yet.
Betis though are keen on a player who was popular with their fans and who would slot straight back into a midfield which has stretched by injury.
Betis technical secretary, Alexis Trujillo, said that following injury to Lolo Reyes which will sideline the player for between four to six weeks, the club are actively looking to strengthen their midfield with N’Diaye the preferred signing.