Toulouse are resigned to losing the player with his contract up at the end of the season, meaning Sunderland will compete with Rennes for his signature.
Sunderland could soon add Cheikh M’Bengue to their ranks, as Paolo di Canio chases the Toulouse left-back.
There is no doubt that the Italian has done remarkably good business in the transfer marker so far this summer, bringing in full internationals Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini to strengthen their attack, but now it seems that Sunderlands troubles lie in a weak defence.
The Black Cats have only managed a loss and a draw in their opening two Premier League fixtures. Di Canio’s men have conceded two goals from set pieces to rob them of results, so it is clear where the need to strengthen lies.
In fact, the side are currently without a true left-back of any sort. Danny Rose enjoyed a successful loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light last season, but di Canio has failed to bring in a replacement since.
Sunderland will face competition from Rennes for M’Bengue, but fans should feel confident that the Premier League side’s financial power will be enough to come out tops in the tug-of-war for the player.
M’Bengue is was born and raised in Toulouse, and has been on the club’s books since he signed on for the youth academy in 1996 at just eight years of age. He has since gone on to play 137 Ligue 1 games for Le Tef.
Despite his French origins, M’Bengue declared for Senegal in 2011, for whom he has made ten international appearances.
M’Bengue’s contract is set to expire next summer and, with the player already declaring he wishes to leave, Toulouse would be foolish not to cash in on the player while they still can.