That is according to a report from Daily Record, who claimed that the Black Cats are ready to offer star striker Ross Stewart more money in a bid to fend off interest from last season’s Europa League finalists Rangers.
As per the report, the Wearsiders’ 2021/22 top scorer already pocketed an automatic pay rise after playing a vital role in their promotion bid.
The outlet has now claimed that Sunderland want to “table a further improvement” in the form of an extended deal, and the club plan to kickstart further talks when Stewart is back from his summer break.
Quite simply, securing the future of a player who has just come off the back of a 26-goal campaign would be as good as, if not better than, securing the services of a new signing.
It’s a terrific statement of intent from the Black Cats and an ultimately important move for the club as they preparing for a dogfight next term. Stewart’s presence up top will surely make life easier for manager Alex Neil, with the forward possessing the ideal profile for Championship football.
The 25-year-old was so integral to Sunderland’s promotion season that, if he had not featured, they would go from League One’s third-highest scorers with 79 scored (just three behind both Oxford and Wigan, the joint-most prolific teams with 82 goals) to the eighth-lowest scorers with just 56 goals.
Ensuring Stewart’s commitment to the club is integral for the upcoming campaign, and as such, Neil will be buzzing with the efforts being made by Kristjaan Speakman and co to keep the Scotland international at the Stadium of Light.