Steve Bruce has moved to quash rumours that Lee Cattermole will be leaving Sunderland this summer, with the Black Cats manager insisting that suggestions of a move are completely unfounded.
Cattermole was named captain for Sunderland's friendly clash with German side Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday, which ended in a 1-1 draw. And Bruce insists that any news of unrest, or stripping Cattermole of the captaincy in favour of new signing John O'Shea, is not on his agenda.
“I don’t know where that has come from. It’s news to me,” Bruce told The Journal.
“One of the newspapers ran a flier but I have not even thought about this situation to be honest. I have had bigger things on my plate to worry about.”
Cattermole, who signed for Sunderland in 2009 for £6 million, has been linked to numerous clubs, with Liverpool reportedly the front runner to secure the midfielder’s signature.
But Bruce insists that he has had discussions with the Merseyside club over the last month, and there has been no talk of a possible deal for Cattermole.
“We have been dealing with Liverpool for the past five weeks over the Jordan Henderson deal and there was never a mention that they wanted Lee. I don’t know where it’s coming from at all,” Bruce said.
“It is all tittle tattle and to be brutally honest I think it is mischief- making as well.”
Cattermole starred for Sunderland last season, and while rumours have speculated that the skipper may not be captain come August, Bruce has put to rest any possibility that his star man won’t be leading the side out when they take on Liverpool on August 13.