Sunderland defender Sebastian Coates could be heading out of the Stadium of Light just six months after penning a permanent contract with the Black Cats.
Coates joined Sunderland in a £2million deal from Liverpool last summer after playing a key role in keeping the Black Cats in the Premier League at the end of last season.
But Coates hasn’t started a league game in 2016, with veteran Wes Brown moving above the Uruguayan in the pecking order.
Sunderland are now in talks with Portugese side Sporting Lisbon over a loan deal until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move next summer.
It is understood that Sunderland have been open to letting the centre-half leave in this window, with the Black Cats boasting the worst defensive record in the Premier League.
And Coates’ potential exit could explain reports in France that Sunderland are again in negotiations for Lorient centre-half Lamine Kone.
A deal for Kone has been on-off all month, with two proposed moves falling through – the latest coming last week when Sam Allardyce confirmed Sunderland’s interest was over.
But there has been fresh speculation about Sunderland reviving their interest in Kone.