The League’s rules dictate that a club must not make an advance on a contracted player without written consent.
It was reported yesterday that West Ham had lodged a complaint, alleging that Black Cats manager Steve Bruce had called to woo the striker, who is also in the sights of Everton, Newcastle and West Brom following the Hammers’ relegation.
However, Sunderland has dismissed claims of any wrongdoing. “Sunderland AFC is fully aware of the Premier League regulations pertaining to player recruitment,” a spokesperson said.
“If we are interested in any player currently under contract with another club, we will speak directly to that club, in line with the regulations.”
The Senegalise striker moved to West Ham from Hoffenheim in January, but the prospects of his remaining since relegation to the Championship are regarded as unlikely.