Sunderland facing potential double transfer blow as search for crucial reinforcements continues

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Brighton boss Graham Potter has cast serious doubt on the prospect of Sunderland target Jan Paul van Hecke leaving the club on loan before the transfer window closes later this week.

It had been widely expected that after a stellar campaign with Blackburn Rovers last time out, in which the 22-year-old was named player of the season, van Hecke would agree a new deal and at the Amex Stadium and head back out loan.

It’s understood that Sunderland were leading that race and indeed there was widespread expectation on the South Coast that he would make the temporary switch to Wearside.

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van Hecke has featured in Brighton’s last two games, however, and most significantly came off the bench to make his Premier League debut

With Joel Veltman nursing a minor knock and Matt Clarke having left for Middlesbrough on a permanent deal, it looks increasingly as if Potter might be tempted to keep the Dutchman around.

"I think there is less and less [chance],” Potter said.

“He got on the pitch for us at the weekend so he has been important for us.

Brighton defender Jan Paul van HeckeBrighton defender Jan Paul van Hecke
Brighton defender Jan Paul van Hecke

“He played well against Forest Green. We really like him.

“He has been in our squad. He can help us get points in the Premier League.”

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Sunderland’s move for PSG youngster Edouard Michut could also now be in doubt.

Michut watched Sunderland’s narrow defeat to Norwich City at the weekend after an agreement over a loan deal with an option to buy was broadly agreed. Respected transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano has now said that PSG’s desire to add an additional clause late on in the process has plunged the move into doubt.

It is a pivotal few days for Sunderland, who are understood to be eager to make a quick appointment following Alex Neil’s departure to Stoke City.

They are also are in need of reinforcements before the transfer window shuts to ensure they have a squad with sufficient depth and competition to come through what is a punishing pre and post-World Cup schedule.

The Black Cats needed another defensive option and a striker as a minimum, while they also felt Michut could add significant quality to the midfield.