An update has emerged regarding Sunderland’s interest in Rotherham midfielder Matt Crooks.
According to the East Anglian Daily Times, the Black Cats are set to challenge Ipswich for the signing of Crooks, who is heading into the final 12 months of his contract with the Yorkshire club, and the Suffolk club are said to have identified him as a key target.
The report claims that Lee Johnson is also keen on the 27-year-old, whilst Championship duo Peterborough and Derby are looking at him as well.
Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman must act swiftly to get a deal done for Crooks following this update.
With Ipswich in pole position for his signature, the Wearsiders are currently lagging behind in the race for his services and need to get a move on or they will face missing out on the player. However, if the Black Cats make their approach now and work with urgency to strike a deal with Rotherham, then they could swoop in for him ahead of Ipswich.
Crooks could be an excellent addition to Johnson’s side after his impressive displays for Rotherham in the Championship last season. Back in November 2020, Millers boss Paul Warne called the midfielder “influential”, although he admitted that speculation over his future was potentially affecting some of his performances.
He told The Star: “I don’t know how many of my players are absolutely 100 per cent but I think Crooksy sticks out because he was so influential over the last couple of years.
“If (Mohamed) Salah doesn’t play well for Liverpool everyone notices. With Crooksy, he is getting more like the player we want him to be.
“Has the transfer rumour and anything else that has gone on in his life affected him? Maybe. But that is just an excuse. It might not have.”
The £1,900-per-week beast produced an impressive tally of six goals and three assists for Rotherham in the Championship despite their relegation last term. He was able to chip in with a respectable amount of goals whilst his team struggled at the wrong end of the table, which suggests that he is good enough to compete in the second tier and that he could thrive for Sunderland in League One.
This is why Black Cats fans would surely be all over this deal as the club could be signing a proven player who can come in and have an instant impact on the team with his goals from midfield. Instead of taking a gamble on a player from a lower league or overseas club, the Wearsiders would be gaining someone who has already shown his class at a higher standard of football in this country.