The latest edition of the Sunderland weekly round-up looks back on another eventful seven days on Wearside. It was a week that saw the ongoing Black Cats shares saga continue. And, with the transfer window now officially open, the rumour mill has begun with several players linked and current players reportedly wanted by other clubs.
Black Cats Shares Saga Continues and Latest Transfer News
Black Cats Shares Saga Continues
The Sunderland shares saga continued in the past week and it appears that there is no end in sight. Shareholders Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven who have a combined 39% stake in the club are willing to sell for the right price. That price as confirmed by Methven in The Athletic several days ago has been met. The football ownership group ‘The Fans Together’ are those who have had a bid accepted by Methven and Donald.
In a statement which was tweeted by Sunderland supporter and Sky Sports presenter Tom White, the group told fans why they were looking to buy shares in Sunderland and more about themselves. The cryptocurrency group have targeted the Black Cats who have already sold more than 28,000 season tickets for next season. In the past, the group have had success in Greece with Greek Super League 2 side FC Episkopi.
— Tom White (@tomwhitemedia) June 7, 2022
Majority shareholder Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has revealed that he has had no contact with ‘The Fans Together’ group. Despite this, the current club chairman has the option to match whatever they are paying and take the shares himself. However, he will not pay over the odds and while he is the majority shareholder and has the final say on what happens at the club.
There is no issue either with a third party buying the available shares according to Louis-Dreyfus in a recent supporters meeting but only if they can provide proof of funds and are capable of “passing the EFL’s Owners’ & Directors Test and who agrees with the vision of the club”.
A second interested party has also had a bid accepted by Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven; however, according to The Athletic, the identity of this party is currently unknown.
Championship Rivals Chasing Lynden Gooch
Versatile midfielder Lynden Gooch is a man in demand. The USA international who can play in a variety of positions is currently out of contract. Sunderland have offered the 26-year-old a new deal; however, it has yet to be signed. With this being the case, other clubs can approach the player in a bid to sign him.
Despite Sunderland being confident that Gooch will extend his 10-year stay at the club, Championship rivals Swansea City and Preston North End are believed to be the main interested parties according to the Sunderland Echo. The Northern Echo are also reporting that Swansea are set to begin talks with Gooch’s representatives and are confident of outbidding Sunderland’s current contract offer.
Two Goalkeepers Linked
Two Premier League goalkeepers have been linked with the Black Cats in recent days. Alex Neil will be looking to strengthen this position with Thorben Hoffmann returning to Bayern Munich following a loan spell and Lee Burge being released. It leaves Anthony Patterson as the only first-team goalkeeper. Despite his excellent form during the second half of last season, Alex Neil will want to add another keeper to his squad.
Experienced keeper John Ruddy who played for Neil at Norwich City became a free agent this summer having left Wolves at the end of his contract. The Northern Echo claim that Ruddy is one of several goalkeepers being looked at.
Another linked is Leicester City’s Daniel Iversen. The 24-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Preston North End. While at Deepdale he won the player of the year award following the latest campaign. The Sun and the Sunderland Echo report that the Black Cats are one of several clubs looking at the Danish shot-stopper.
Free Agent Winger Interesting Black Cats
Sunderland have ‘registered their interest’ in winger Josh Murphy according to the Sunderland Echo. The 27-year-old has been released by Cardiff City and will become a free agent on June 30th. The former Norwich player who spent time on loan at Preston last season is seemingly high on Alex Neil’s wanted list.
Dion Sanderson Linked With Return
The Chronicle have linked Wolves defender Dion Sanderson with a return to Wearside. The 22-year-old impressed during a year-long loan spell in the 2021/22 season. Wolves are reportedly open to either selling the player or even loaning him out once again. Sanderson gained valuable Championship experience last season at both Birmingham City and QPR.
Ross Stewart Wanted by Scottish Giants
In news that will worry Sunderland fans, last season’s top scorer Ross Stewart has been linked with a move. The newly capped Scottish striker is reportedly the number one target of Rangers. The Scottish Sun and the Northern Echo claim that the 26-goal striker is the man they want should Alfredo Morelos reject a new contract this summer. The Columbian striker has just 12 months left on his current deal. Should he refuse to renew, Rangers will not want to lose him for nothing next year.
25-year-old Stewart has just 12 months left on his own contract with Sunderland yet to open talks on a new deal. However, it is expected that the club will begin talks sooner rather than later. To lose their top scorer ahead of their return to the Championship would be a major blow.
Two former Sunderland strikers have had their say on the news that Rangers want the Black Cats’ main man. Kevin Kyle and Niall Quinn both spoke to the Sunderland Echo. Kyle said: “I imagine there will be a wee bit of interest but if I could ever speak to him I would say that you don’t leave Sunderland in the Championship. There are worse clubs to go to. Just stay where you are, learn your trade and hopefully, he can help fire Sunderland into doing well next season.”
Sunderland legend Quinn added:
The big lad Stewart up front. I have plenty of time for him. I think he is on a good learning curve. There’s a little bit to go yet but that’s okay because he is keen and is willing. There’s a great future there for him. Hopefully it all stays together and they do themselves proud next season.”
— Sunderland Echo SAFC (@sunechosafc) June 13, 2022