The Mackems boss has denied that the Hoops have made a move for the defender, while confirming the club have an option to make Kader Mangane's loan move from Al-Hilal permanentSunderland manager Martin O’Neill has played down talk of Titus Bramble moving to QPR, insisting that he has not heard from the London club.
The Hoops are in the market for defensive reinforcements with Ryan Nelsen set to leave the club to take over as manager of Toronto FC in February, and the Black Cats centre-back has been suggested as a possible target for Harry Redknapp.
However, O’Neill has denied all knowledge of any interest, telling the Shields Gazette: “I don’t know anything about Titus going to QPR. It’s only speculation and no-one has spoken to me about it.”
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“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,” he explained.
The former Aston Villa boss also confirmed that the club have the option to make the Senegalese international’s loan deal permanent, and is optimistic that he will be able to make a big impact once he gets up to speed.
“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,” he continued.
“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 is in line to make his debut in Tuesday’s Premier League clash against Swansea at the Stadium of Light.