The form of Irish international David Meyler was one of the factors which convinced Sunderland manager Steve Bruce to allow midfielder Lorik Cana to leave the club, it has emerged.
The Albanian international left Wearside for Galatasary on July 8 for a fee thought to be around £5m.
“The arrival of young Meyler last year … put big pressure on him,” said Bruce. “With the young lads coming through, we decided that it was good business that we can take the money.”
Bruce also said that whilst Cana’s decision came as a surprise, he had no desire to keep a player at the club against his will.
“It came out of the blue...from nowhere,” said Bruce. “In management, I’ve never, ever held on to an unhappy player.
“He wanted to go and play in Turkey, to be near Albania, would you believe, which is where he’s from.”
Bruce denied that Cana’s poor disciplinary record was any factor in the decision to let him move on, however.
“It was his physicality that came into it more than his disciplinary record,” the Sunderland boss said.