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Sunderland agree deal to sign Benjamin Mendy

Updated: Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 15:28 | Comments

Benjamin Mendy looks set to join Sunderland
Benjamin Mendy looks set to join Sunderland

Sunderland have agreed a deal to sign Le Havre's teenage defender Benjamin Mendy, according to the French club.

Despite being only 18, Mendy has significant experience having made 57 appearances in the last two seasons in Ligue 2 and represented France at Under-16 to Under-18 level.

Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel told Radio Monte Carlo: "We have reached agreement with Sunderland for the transfer of Mendy.

"It's now up to him to reach an agreement with them. We are okay."

The left-back has also been courted by Lyon, and Louvel did not rule out the Champions League qualifiers returning to hijack the deal.

"We were close to an agreement with Lyon, it has not happened but you never know," he said.

"Right now, the only club we are in agreement with is Sunderland and it is now up to Benjamin Mendy to make his choice."

Arsenal have also been linked with the highly-rated teenager.

Sources on Wearside today played down claims that their interest in the defender is at an advanced stage, but confirmed he is very much in the club's sights as they attempt to boost the playing staff at both senior and development levels.

Sunderland have been without a specialist left-back for some time, with loan signing Danny Rose having plugged a gap - which has also been filled at times by midfielders Kieran Richardson and Jack Colback and right-back Phil Bardsley - last season.

It would come as no surprise even if manager Paolo Di Canio did manage to land the Longjumeau-born player if he also opted to bring in a more senior man for the same position in a bid to give the cover the club has lacked for some time.

Meanwhile, Egypt international winger Ahmed Elmohamady's proposed move to Hull is close to being completed.

The 25-year-old midfielder spent all but a few weeks of last season on loan at the KC Stadium as Steve Bruce, the man who had initially brought him to England during his time in charge at the Stadium of Light, handed him another chance to prove himself.

Elmohamady made a total of 41 appearances and scored three goals as the Tigers secured their return to the Barclays Premier League, and Bruce is keen to tie up a permanent deal.

The former ENPPI player cost the Black Cats £2million in June 2011 after a successful loan spell, and they would hope to recoup a similar amount on his departure.

That would further boost a transfer kitty which received a #9million windfall earlier this week, the first and main instalment of the fee for keeper Simon Mignolet's switch to Liverpool.

Di Canio has promised to re-invest that cash to ensure Sunderland do not face the another fight for Barclays Premier League survival next season after finishing in 17th place at the end of the last campaign.

Maritimo defender Valentin Roberge, Basle midfielder Cabral and Lazio's Modibo Diakite will all join the club on July 1, while youngsters Duncan Watmore and David Moberg Karlsson are already on board.

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