Sunderland have confirmed that Chris Maguire will not be offered a new contract by the club this summer.
According to a statement posted on the club website, the centre-forward will be released upon the expiry of his current deal at the Stadium of Light next month, as the Black Cats do not wish to retain the 32-year-old’s services ahead of next season.
This season, the Scotland international predominantly found himself starting fixtures on the bench, with only 12 of his total of 34 League One appearances coming from the first whistle.
The £315k-rated man also popped up with goal contributions at crucial times for the Black Cats this term, such as restoring the lead in a 3-1 win over Plymouth Argyle, providing the assist for Charlie Wyke’s strike in a 1-0 victory against Swindon Town and scoring a 97th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Crewe Alexandra.
As such, Lee Johnson’s decision to allow the £4.4k-per-week forward move on to pastures new this summer could easily be argued as being one of his biggest mistakes at the club thus far – with this opinion being something that a number of Sunderland fans appear to agree with.
After the club posted their released list on Twitter, one Sunderland fan claimed that the departure of Maguire is “criminal,” while another simply stated their bafflement at Johnson letting the 32-year-old go.
Indeed, despite getting towards the twilight of his career, the versatile attacker has proven this season that he is still an extremely useful player to have around the place, and it would appear a highly likely scenario that the Scot will not be without a club for all that long – something that could well come back to haunt Johnson if Maguire were to sign for one of their League One promotion rivals.