Sunderland boss outlines Amad Diallo transfer stance amid Man Utd decision

The 21-year-old has been linked with a move away from Man Utd this month but looks set for a place in Erik ten Hag's plans.

Sunderland manager Michael Beale insists his side would be interested in signing Amad Diallo on loan but understands a move is unlikely, given Manchester United's desire to keep hold of him.

Amad enjoyed an excellent spell on loan at Sunderland last season, registering 14 goals in 39 appearances and helping the Black Cats into the Championship play-offs. The Ivorian dropped into the second-tier for regular football and found exactly that, becoming a talisman at the Stadium of Light.

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Speculation surrounding the 21-year-old's future has intensified this month, following his return from a long-term injury and United's decision to loan out a number of fringe players. And Beale would love to have him back at Sunderland but admits a deal is unlikely.

"We’ve made it really clear to them that we would be in there but Man United really value him as well," Beale said. "He could have an interesting second half of the season in-house but if he was to go out on loan, I can assure you, they are well aware we would want him to come back here.

"Putting finances aside – because that’s the big thing isn't it – I know he loved his time here, the fans loved him and he was well-loved in the changing room. When I came here, it was something that if it could happen, it would happen but I think Man Utd realise they have a very good football player on their hands."

United are thought to be open to keeping Amad on board for the second-half of the season, following the decision to loan out Jadon Sancho to Borussia Dortmund. Erik ten Hag's move to bring the youngster off the bench ahead of Facundo Pellistri at Nottingham Forest was telling and it seems he is the natural back-up for first-choice Antony.

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United have received transfer interest in Pellistri and any decision to let the Uruguayan leave would almost certainly pave the way for Amad's place in the squad. He was set to prove himself in in pre-season but suffered a cruel knee injury and that substitute appearance at the city Ground was his first of the campaign.

Reports have linked Amad with a move to several Championship clubs including Middlesbrough, but in a recent message sent to a Sunderland fan page on social media he insisted a return to the Championship would only come back at the Stadium of Light.

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