A crucial update has emerged regarding Sunderland’s hopes of signing Dion Sanderson this summer.
According to The Athletic, Wolves have decided that they want to keep the Black Cats transfer target and are hopeful that he will put pen to paper on a contract extension at Molineux. The report claims that the Premier League club are in talks with the centre-back over a new deal and are then planning to loan him out to a club in the Championship, which would come as a further blow to the Wearsiders.
Football Insider reported earlier this summer that Sunderland are open to bringing Sanderson back to the northeast either on a temporary or permanent basis next season.
Sunderland fans will surely be gutted by this news as it seemingly rules out any chance of Sanderson returning to the Stadium of Light for a second spell, but ultimately there is nothing Kristjaan Speakman can do in the negotiations if Wolves are unwilling to sell him.
The Midlands club are two divisions above the Black Cats and have the greater financial muscle due to being in the Premier League, which means that Sunderland appear to have no way of tempting them to change their mind in the coming weeks.
Black Cats manager Lee Johnson has made it clear that he is a fan of the centre-back, with effusive praise of his performances last season in League One. Earlier this year, the former Bristol City coach claimed that the 21-year-old has a bright future in the game and highlighted his leadership skills on the pitch.
Johnson told The Chronicle: “He’s a good personality and a great kid first and foremost, but the bit that most impressed me was how he stepped up in the leadership and communications skills areas, which shows he has a bright future.”
This shows why supporters will be disappointed as the League One club are set to miss out on what could have been a terrific signing. Sanderson averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.88 in 17 starts as a centre-back in the third tier last term on loan at the Stadium of Light.
The 21-year-old stood out for Sunderland and, along with Johnson’s quotes about his personality, that shows why he could have been a superb signing to bolster their squad this summer ahead of the new campaign.
Therefore, this is a hammer blow to Speakman and Johnson’s plans and they will now need to look elsewhere in the market for defensive reinforcements. Sunderland cannot afford to wait around for Wolves to potentially change their mind on Sanderson as it could lead to them missing out on other targets throughout the summer, so they need to move on swiftly from this disappointment.