Will Grigg has seen a dark shadow cast over his future with Sunderland, after owner Stewart Donald agreed to sell the Black Cats to a consortium led by Juan Sartori and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.
According to The Guardian, Sartori and Louis-Dreyfus were behind the undisclosed offer Donald accepted two weeks ago to sell Sunderland, after putting the Stadium of Light natives up for sale at the start of the year.
Sartori, who currently owns 20% of the Black Cats and sits on the board, was behind the drive to bring Louis-Dreyfus on board, having made initial contact with the 22-year-old son of former Marseille owner Robert – who is estimated to have a trust fund worth more than £2billion – six months ago.
Donald will retain 15% of his shares once the deal is closed, which is expected to be completed in the next fortnight, while former Chief Executive Charlie Methven will also keep hold of his 5%.
With Sunderland set to be under new control, the Black Cats future of a number of manager Phil Parkinson’s fringe players will come under increasing threat as the North East giants strive to acquire a higher calibre of player in order to surge back through the divisions.
Grigg will be among those who now find themselves looking over their shoulders in the months to come, having struggled to leave his mark on the current campaign with no goals to his name after just five outings across all competitions.
Parkinson was adamant back in the summer that Grigg would be afforded a key role for Sunderland this season, having seen Charlie Wyke’s form and Danny Graham’s Black Cats reunion result in the former Northern Ireland international’s game time being dramatically reduced.
“In terms of Griggy, he’s come back in terrific shape, he started the season OK and was a bit unlucky not to get a goal.” Parkinson said, via quotes by the Sunderland Echo.
“There’ll be a time when he’s back in the team, I’m sure, and he’s got a big part to play.”
Parkinson’s belief is yet to be proven true, with Grigg starting just one of his three League One appearances for a total 112 minutes on the field to date. His output is far from fitting of a player Sunderland signed for £4m in 2019 and awarded a £6,000-per-week contract to.
Grigg’s continued decline since signing with Sunderland has seen his market value drop drastically, too, yet he still remains the Black Cats’ second-most valuable asset at £1.08m, per TransferMarkt.
Swindon Town and MK Dons were claimed to have been interested in a deal to sign Grigg in the latter stages of the summer transfer window, and Sunderland may now hope clubs such as those look fondly on the forward who may see his future come under increasing doubt in the weeks and months to come.