Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lyon Set to Move for Cats Star Cana; Lyon Set to Move for Black Cats' Cana

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lyon Set to Move for Cats Star Cana; Lyon Set to Move for Black Cats' Cana

Article excerpt

LYON are set to make an ambitious move to sign Sunderland captain Lorik Cana, after failing to tempt Patrick Vieira back to Ligue 1, writes STUART RAYNER.

The Black Cats will be confident of seeing off any interest from Les Gones, but on a day of otherwise largely positive news from the Stadium of Light, their expected intervention was an unwanted one. Steve Bruce's lengthy injury list at last appears to be relenting, with Kenwyne Jones, Kieran Richardson and Boudewijn Zenden all optimistic of returning for Saturday's visit of Bolton Wanderers.

And his chances of landing top January transfer target Maynor Figueroa improved when it emerged that Wigan Athletic are looking at alternative left-backs.

Cana has made a very positive impression in a short space of time at the Stadium of Light.

The Albania international has mainly operated as a defensive midfielder, where his combative style has led to a cult following among Wearside football fans, even if his popularity has not been matched among referees.

He has also impressed when asked to play the position he occupies at international level, at the heart of the defence. It is where he is likely to play against the Trotters this week.

Aside from his impact on the pitch, Cana has also had a positive impact off it, quickly settling into life on Wearside, and grasping the club's standing and history, aided by his impressive English.

That, and his leadership qualities, saw him named Sunderland's captain in August.

Lyon have taken note, and with primary target Vieira seemingly bound for Manchester City, they are anxious to lure Cana back to the league where he performed with distinction for Marseilles and Paris Saint Germain. Sunderland paid pounds 5m for Cana (pictured right) this summer, and having made the 26-year-old his priority signing in the summer, it is hard to see Bruce letting him go, even for a large profit - especially at a time when the squad is suffering badly with injuries. …

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