Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has told the Sunderland Echo that he is looking to reduce the timeline on contract talks with the club’s key players, as speculation over their respective futures continues.
The Black Cats are currently holding talks with Charlie Wyke, Aiden McGeady, Denver Hume and Luke O’Nien as they look to secure their services for next season.
Talks are set to continue this week with the quartet who are almost certain to attract interest in their services from elsewhere after once again falling short with the North East outfit in the league this term.
Speaking recently, Speakman was quick to emphasise that the club are looking for a quick resolution as the talks continue into June:
“We’ve been in discussions with those guys and their representatives.
“It’s always going to be a difficult period because they are players that have done well for us, hence we want to re-engage them.
“But obviously because they’ve done well for Sunderland, there’s other people going ‘these guys have done well for Sunderland, and we would also be interested in them’.
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“It’s going to be a piece of work which we want to try and reduce the timeline as quick as possible and therefore is helps us on our platform for where we’re going and who we might be looking at in the future months.
“We feel they can all contribute to the Sunderland of the future, and therefore hopefully we’ll be able to get them over the line.”
Sunderland enjoyed a mixed campaign in the season just gone, with the club lifting the Papa John’s Trophy after seeing off Tranmere Rovers in March before seeing their promotion hopes unravel as they lost out to Lincoln City in the play-off semi finals over two legs.
Lee Johnson now has the chance to build a squad of his own after only taking on the job in December last year and will be hopeful of keeping hold of the aforementioned four players, who are key to his plans moving forwards.
All four of the players who are currently running down their current deals at the Stadium of Light have greatly impressed over the last 12 months in a Sunderland shirt and there is a growing feeling that the club will find it tough to hold onto them.
The fact that they have been consigned to yet another season in the third tier will certainly not help their case and as a result, I do feel one if not a few will leave out of the four.
Players move on to bigger and better things, it’s part of football but losing any of the four will be tough to take for the Black Cats.
However on the flip side it could well free up some much needed funds for Johnson to play with in the transfer market, if worse comes to worst in the long run.