Sunderland have been handed a huge boost in their bid to bring Jonson Clarke-Harris to the Stadium of Light this summer.
In a recent interview with Transfer Tavern, the Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry admitted that he is resigned to losing the services of the Sunderland transfer target in the upcoming window, and would not stand in the way of the 26-year-old centre-forward leaving if an acceptable offer was made – with reports suggesting a fee of around £8m should be enough to land the striker.
Fry said: “How can you stand in their way? Because it not only affects their life, it affects their families, their parents and grandparents. It is life-changing and we must do it.
“Obviously, we would like to keep all our players – Dwight Gayle, Britt Assombalonga, Ivan Toney, Jack Marriott – what a team we would have had. We would have had 10 centre-forwards and no defenders!”
With Sunderland’s own top league goalscorer Charlie Wyke being linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light at the end of the season, if the Black Cats somehow managed to bring Clarke-Harris to the club as the 28-year-old’s replacement – something that appears all the more possible after Fry’s latest comments – fans would undoubtedly be buzzing.
Over the £6.1k-per-week hitman’s 45 League One appearances for Posh this season, he scored a whopping 31 goals, registered three assists and created 11 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.9 shots and making one key pass per game, culminating in an average SofaScore match rating of 7.24 – ranking him as the club’s second-best performer in the third tier.
As such, it goes without saying just how good of a signing the £225k-rated man would be for Lee Johnson’s side, particularly if the Black Cats do go on to lose Wyke this summer.
However, with Peterborough earning automatic promotion to the Championship this season, it would seem a highly unlikely scenario that Clarke-Harris – whom Barry Fry previously dubbed a “fantastic” player – would be willing to take the step back down to a club who are still playing their football in League One.
And, with Sunderland currently trailing 2-0 to Lincoln City in their play-off semi-final, at present, it would very much seem as if Johnson’s side will remain in the third tier of English football as of next season – something that could well rule them out of the running of a move for Clarke-Harris.