West Ham United midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has urged teammate Diafra Sakho to stay at the club, following the latter's alleged desire to leave the Hammers.
Sakho made just 18 starts in the Premier League last season as injury contributed to a lack of playing time under Slaven Bilic, with the Sengalese netting just five times in 20 league games.
Sunderland have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old, with manager Sam Allardyce keen for a reunion with the striker he brought to Upton Park in 2014 after scoring freely for Ligue 2 side Metz.
But West Ham favourite Kouyate has advised Sakho to stay at the Hammers, believing he can put his injury-ravaged spell behind him.
According to fansite Claret and Hugh, Kouyate told www.senenews.com: “I think Diafra ran out of luck.
"Let us not forget that he remained injured for four months. It was difficult to meet his target to score 20 goals in the season.
"His injury came at the wrong time, this injury has hurt him in the heart and it has stopped him in its tracks.”
Asked about whether Kouyate has told Sakho to leave West Ham, the former Anderlecht midfielder said: “No, not at all. I tell him all the time to stay at the club.
"The coach likes him, he is appreciated by the players. Dimitri Payet and myself like him a lot.
"Diafra Sakho is a great striker and West Ham’s leaders know this.”