Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has lifted the lid on Lewis Grabban’s January exit ahead of his return to Wearside with Aston Villa.
Coleman says Grabban – who remains Sunderland’s top scorer – didn’t speak to him about leaving but instead spoke with chief executive Martin Bain, once he’d cancelled his accommodation.
Grabban’s season-long loan spell was cut short in January when the player returned to parent club AFC Bournemouth ahead of moving back out on loan to promotion-chasing Aston Villa.
Grabban, 30, bagged 12 goals in the first half of the season for Sunderland but Coleman insists he can’t be worrying about the former striker, with his full focus on ensuring Sunderland are firing on all cylinders.
Coleman said: “I’m not worried about Lewis Grabban. I am more worried about Sunderland and us performing.
“Villa have a host of talent. I know some of their players really well. I am not worried about one player. We have to be right mentally.”
When pressed on Grabban’s departure, Coleman added: “He actually never came to me, he went to see our chief executive.
“As we understood it he had cancelled his accommodation, then had a conversation with our chief executive to say his time here was up.
“I didn’t have a problem. Lewis has to look after Lewis Grabban. If he has got opportunities to play elsewhere to play for teams fighting for promotion.
“But I never had that conversation with him, he never came to see me, it was with Martin.
“It has gone, finished. I said all the way along, the boys we have now want to be here.
“Whether we play bad or good, they want to be here.”