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Sunderland: Ross Stewart is open to a transfer exit

An update has emerged on Sunderland striker Ross Stewart and interest in his services ahead of the January transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to The Sun, clubs have been put on alert because the centre-forward is yet to agree to a contract extension with the Black Cats.

Will Stewart leave in January?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The club have an option to extend his deal by 12 months but that would still mean that he only has 18 months left on his current terms as of next month.

It is stated that Olympiacos and Middlesbrough are among the teams keen on the Scotland international, whilst Glasgow giants Rangers are potential suitors if Michael Beale carries on their previous interest.

The report claims that Stewart is open to a move away from the Stadium of Light and that Tony Mowbray is expecting bids to come through for the attacker in January.

First disaster

Through no fault of his own, the Sunderland head coach is heading for his first disaster in charge of the Black Cats as losing the 26-year-old would be a huge blow to the team.

The 6 foot 2 gem is out of contract next summer, as it stands, and triggering the extension would only delay the inevitable if he is open to leaving the club and is not desperate to sign a long-term deal.

This means that the Black Cats could be forced to cash in on the attacker in January, or next summer, in order to avoid losing him for nothing in 2024. He would be free to sign a pre-contract deal with foreign clubs as of January 2024 and this means that there is a real chance that he could depart on a free transfer.

Therefore, Mowbray is in a lose-lose situation if the striker is unwilling to sign fresh terms as he will either lose him for a fee or for nothing. Either way, he would be watching a terrific player depart from Wearside and his exit would be a big blow for the club.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

Starting off easy... who was Sunderland's top scorer in 2021/22?

Current Black Cats attacking midfielder Alex Pritchard once said of the striker:

“He’s got everything. He’s great in the air. Holds the ball up and he gets in behind and you see in the semi-finals – the goal he got in behind and he’s so quick. And he’s been a revelation this year for us.”

This shows how much his teammates appreciate what he offers on the pitch and his statistics indicate that Mowbray will also be appreciative of his talent, as he has scored five goals and provided three assists in seven Championship outings this term.

The Scotland international also produced 26 strikes in 49 League One matches last season and his record over the last 18 months shows that he has the quality to be a prolific goalscorer for the club, which is why losing him – in any capacity – would be a disaster and a huge blow.