Niall Quinn has distanced himself from talks of a potential takeover at his former club Sunderland.
The Republic of Ireland legend was believed to be at the helm of a consortium who were planning to buy out current owner Ellis Short, in a bid to fund the Black Cats' march back into the Premier League; even if they are relegated to League One at the end of this term.
However, speaking to Irish TV network RTE (h/t the Irish Independent) Quinn has moved to quell that speculation by revealing just what he was doing in the Irish capital Dublin recently.
The towering ex-Republic of Ireland international was recently announced as the ambassador for the 2018 Para Swimming European Championships in Dublin, and he explained that he was only in his homeland for that reason.
He said: "Not true. Sadly someone jumped the gun there a little bit and probably felt I was doing more. I was actually in Sunderland a couple of times but it was nothing to do with football and maybe that's where it came from."
Quinn was a former chairman of Sunderland having taken up the role between 2006 and 2011, and has been left worried about where the north east outfit are heading following their relegation from the Premier League last season.
Guys, been speaking with @dpcoverdale at @TheBillabongBar Jesmond. Sadly, the story published by colleague John Fallon on Niall Quinn’s return to the club has no truth to it, he’s enjoying break from football 👎🏻 There is however still interest from the Germans #safc— Vitamin Gee (@GlynDixon1) March 25, 2018
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Sunderland currently prop up England's second tier with 28 points from 33 games, and lie five points from safety with just eight matches of the 2017/18 campaign remaining.
Quinn admitted that it was sad to see his former side doing so poorly on and off the field, and he hopes their fortunes will turn around sooner rather than later without his involvement.
He added: "I, like everybody else, hopes the situation gets better there very quickly.
"There are one or two people who are meant to be interested in buying the club, I hear all that. I'm the same as the fans. I've nothing special to tell you there, I just hope they get out of it.
"I'm gone six years now… I'd like to see it turned around, I just don't think it's going to be me."