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Jason Denayer’s agent: He would have preferred Southampton and AC Milan to Sunderland

Jason Denayer would not be playing for Sunderland this season if he’d had his own way, according to the player’s agent Jesse de Peter.

Speaking to the Sport/Foot Magazine in Belgium, de Peter said of the 21-year-old’s loan move to Sunderland from Manchester City, “They were not our first choice, but they were the safest option. Jason would have preferred playing alongside Virgil van Dijk at Southampton, with who he had a great year at Celtic, but that rested on factors that were out of our control.”

Denayer has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Sunderland, often out of his natural position and instead utilised as a holding midfielder, as David Moyes tries to guide the Black Cats away from the relegation zone.

Galatasaray’s interest in taking Denayer back to Istanbul was widely known, but his agent also told the Belgian magazine that Serie A side AC Milan had made an approach. De Peter revealed, “After the Euros, AC Milan approached us. This was obviously something Jason wanted, with Italy being the ‘university of defending’, but Txiki Begiristain preferred seeing him play in England.”

Denayer’s loan runs until the end of the season, after which he’ll return to Manchester City and most likely determine whether his long-term future is at the club or elsewhere.

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