Football News

O'Neill: No Bramble contact from QPR

Created on 24 Jan., 2013 6:27 PM GMT

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has dismissed rumours linking Titus Bramble with a move to Queens Park Rangers.

QPR are in the market for defensive reinforcements, with Ryan Nelsen set to leave the club to take over as coach of Toronto FC in February.

Centre-back Bramble has been suggested as a possible target for QPR manager Harry Redknapp.

However, O'Neill has denied 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."

Sunderland have added Kader Mangane to their own backline this January, and O'Neill has claimed the man on loan from Al-Hilal is working hard to reach match fitness.

"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 said.

The former Aston Villa manager also confirmed Sunderland have the option to make the Senegalese international's loan deal permanent, and is optimistic Mangane will be able to make a big impact when 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 said.

"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.

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