Midweek Sport - - SPORTS - By JA­SON MEL­LOR

STEPHANE SESSEG­NON has begged to be spared Paolo Di Canio’s chop­per.

Sun­der­land’s Benin for­ward has been linked with a move as part of the hard­line Ital­ian’s mas­sive sum­mer shake-up at the Sta­dium of Light.

Busy Di Canio has brought in nine new sign­ings – with half a dozen de­par­tures to make room for the rad­i­cal squad over­haul by the Black Cats boss.

Ex-Paris St Ger­main star Sesseg­non looked to be head­ing back to France, where he is wanted by a num­ber of clubs.

But the 29-year-old – snapped up by for­mer boss Steve Bruce for £5mil­lion in 2011 – in­sists he wants to stay and prove him­self.

He added: “I have no prob­lem over my fu­ture. It may have af­fected me in the past, but I’m happy at Sun­der­land. I en­joy it here and my mind’s fo­cused.


“Things have gone well in pre-sea­son and, hope­fully, we can con­tinue like this be­cause you need to put in the hard work now to en­sure you start the sea­son well.”

Sun­der­land’s £8m striker Steven Fletcher is set to miss the first three weeks of the Pre­mier League cam­paign as the Scot­land in­ter­na­tional steps up his come­back fol­low­ing an­kle surgery.

Greece in­ter­na­tional winger Charis Mavrias is set to be­come the Black Cats’ 10th sum­mer sign­ing.

And that’s likely to spell the end of James McClean’s tur­bu­lent spell at the club, with Celtic clos­ing in on the £2m-rated Ire­land star.

Ver­sa­tile Mavrias, 19, is set to ar­rive on Wear­side in the next 24 hours to com­plete a med­i­cal and fi­nalise per­sonal terms.

CHAL­LENGE: Sesseg­non

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