The former Manchester United midfielder has long been linked with a move away from the Black Cats.
O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo: “Kieran came to see me in the transfer window and for family issues and what have you, he thought maybe a change would suit him.
“It’s been ongoing but no-one has come in and made an offer.”
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Chelsea have struggled to build momentum in the opening stages of the campaign and are currently looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone.
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