Amad Diallo has pledged his loyalty to Sunderland by pouring cold water over a potential transfer to Championship rivals Middlesbrough. The Manchester United winger has been linked with a return to the league in which he thrived last season, but he’s set to remain at Old Trafford this winter.
Earlier this week, reports claimed that Middlesbrough were leading the race to sign Amad on loan until the end of the campaign.
United icon and Amad’s former coach Michael Carrick is at the helm at the Riverside Stadium, adding weight to the transfer links.
A Middlesbrough switch wouldn’t have gone down well in one corner of the northeast after his successful loan stint at Sunderland last term.
But the 21-year-old has shut down suggestions that he’s on his way to the Black Cats’ local foes, at the same time indicating the current plan is a United stay.
On Tuesday night, Sunderland fan account @sunderlandafc11 posted a private message Amad had sent them on X (formerly Twitter) in response to the Middlesbrough rumours.
He wrote: “Hi mate, it’s Amad. The rumours about me on loan to Boro are fake. If I had to come back on loan to the Championship, it would be at Sunderland and not anywhere else.”
The Red Devils No 16 also posted an image on his Instagram story showing him in a Sunderland kit with a kiss emoji.
Amad struggled at the start of his United career after joining in a £37million deal from Atalanta in January 2021, though there was an understanding he was a signing for the future.
He joined Rangers on loan for the second half of the 2021/22 season but largely underwhelmed, scoring three goals in 13 appearances.
It was at Sunderland where Amad’s career in English football came alive, registering 14 goals and four assists in 42 appearances last season.
The Ivory Coast international was named the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year in the Championship after helping Tony Mowbray’s side reach the Play-Offs.
Amad’s progress hit a hurdle when he suffered a serious knee injury against Arsenal during United’s pre-season tour of the United States.
It delayed his first appearance of the season, and 10th for the Red Devils, until the final game of 2023 at Nottingham Forest, producing a promising cameo off the bench.
Amad missed the following two games against Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur through illness. However, he will feel like the right-wing position is there for the taking.
Alejandro Garnacho has currently made it his own due to Antony’s continued struggles since his £86m arrival in 2022.
But with Facundo Pellistri heading for Granada on loan, Amad will be in the conversation for more minutes in the coming months.