Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill insists the club have had no contact from Queens Park Rangers regarding defender Titus Bramble.
Bramble, 31, who joined the Black Cats from Wigan Athletic in 2010, is out of contract in the summer and it is looking increasingly unlikely the former Ipswich defender will be offered a new deal on Wearside.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp has made his feelings known on the need for a new defender with Ryan Nelsen on his way out at the end of the month to take over Toronto FC and is reportedly interested in the former Newcastle man.
However, O’Neill has rubbished the talk, confirming that no offers have as yet been made for his player.
“I don’t know anything about Titus going to QPR,” O’Neill told the Shields Gazette. “It’s only speculation and no-one has spoken to me about it.”
Meanwhile, new loan signing Kader Mangane is facing extensive fitness work this week in a bid to improve his match sharpness, with O’Neill also confirming the club does hold a permanent transfer option on the 29-year-old.
“It’s fair to say that Kader’s a little bit behind the rest of the lads in terms of his fitness levels, but we’re looking to address that, and we’ll step that side of things up this week,” O’Neill said. “Whenever a loan signing comes in from abroad, part of the deal is that there has to be an option at the end of the loan deal for a permanent signing, and that’s the case with Kader.
“So we’ll see how it goes. He’s got a great physique and presence at the back, he’s got what it takes to do a job at this level, and we’ll just see how he comes on during his time here in the remainder of this season. Physically, he adds a different dimension to the side and he demonstrated in France over a number of seasons that he is a quality player. This is an opportunity for him.
“But the main thing for the moment is that he gives us an option in a position where we’ve been really stretched of late and once he’s fully fit, he’ll be pushing for a start and giving us some competition for places.”
Mangane could make his Black Cats debut on Tuesday when Michael Laudrup’s Swansea visit the Stadium of Light.