Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Want Me, Says Les Bleus Star

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Want Me, Says Les Bleus Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown ? (0191) 201-6386 ? steve.sports-brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

SUNDERLAND have an interest in Saint-Etienne midfielder Josuha Guilavogui, according to the player himself.

But the Black Cats face competition from Galatasaray for the newly-capped French international, while Guilavogui has revealed he would prefer to stay with his Ligue One club.

Paolo Di Canio's squad is set for a major overhaul during his first transfer window at the helm, after a dismal season saw the club finish just one place and three points above the Premier League relegation zone.

That process moved on a stage yesterday with official publication of the list of players being released on free transfers by top-flight clubs confirming the availability of Titus Bramble and Matthew Kilgallon, along with Anthony Callaghan, Wade Joyce, Ryan Noble, Adam Reed and Ben Wilson.

Duncan Watmore has already joined from Altrincham, while Modibo Diakite, Valentin Roberge, Cabral and El-Hadji Ba have all been lined up to join Sunderland when they become free agents on July 1. But Guilavogui appears unlikely to follow them to Wearside.

The 22-year-old has been likened to former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira, and made his debut for Les Bleus in Tuesday's 1-0 friendly defeat to Uruguay in Montevideo.

His performances for St Etienne during the past campaign - in which they finished fifth - saw him included in Ligue One's 'Team of the Season'. That, according to Guilavogui, has sparked interest from both Sunderland and Turkish outfit Galatasaray, but while refusing to rule out a move away from France, the player appears reluctant to force his own departure and remains hopeful his club share his viewpoint. "My agent told me about it," said Guilavogui, of Sunderland and Galatasaray's interest. "I think I'll have a discussion with my agent and Saint-Etienne to see what we're going to do. …

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