Sunderland manager Roy Keane suffered a setback in his bid to make a 23 million pounds (28 million euros) swoop for four Tottenham players when Younes Kaboul's agent insisted his player wouldn't move to the Stadium of Light.
Keane admitted he was close to making his first pre-season signing after reports claimed he had made a massive joint bid for Kaboul, Steed Malbranque, Teemu Tainio and Pascal Chimbonda.
But Kaboul's agent Rudy Raba delivered an embarrassing snub to Keane as he insisted the French defender wasn't interested in the switch because it would harm his international prospects.
“Younes wouldn't join Sunderland even if there was an earthquake,” Raba said. “We have more interesting options than Sunderland. Don't even think about it.
“I can tell you for sure that he's going to stay in England next season. Of course he would prefer to have his chance at Tottenham rather than moving to Sunderland.
“No disrespect to them, but playing there wouldn't help his international career.”
Despite that blow, Keane, who has been criticised by some Sunderland supporters for his lack of transfer activity, is still hopeful of landing French winger Malbranque, Finland midfielder Tainio and French right-back Chimbonda.
“I'm hoping that we will have five or six players in by this time next week,” he said. “We are close on a few things and I would hope things will start to happen over the next 48 hours.
“We fly out to Portugal (for pre-season) on Friday but I am not worried about tying up deals that quickly and in time for them to play in our first game on Sunday.
“We are there for a week and if players have to fly and join us on Sunday or Monday, that's fine.”
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