Interest in Sunderland striker Will Grigg is hotting up with just a few days left of the January transfer window, with Oxford United the latest club to be linked.
And it’s seemingly more than the club casting a glance at the Northern Ireland international, with manager Karl Robinson admitting himself that he is very keen on adding Grigg to his ranks.
“I want him (Grigg) to fight with Matty Taylor and Sam Winnall for a place up front,” Robinson told the Oxford Mail
Robinson managed Grigg during his time at MK Dons, with the player netting 20 League One goals in 44 appearances in their 2014-15 promotion-winning season.
And he wants to re-unite with the 29-year-old to add more fire-power to his line-up at the Kassam Stadium, despite the team being on a fantastic run of form which has seen them win seven games on the bounce in all competitions.
Football Insider reported this week that Shrewsbury had beaten the Dons and Salford to Grigg’s signature, but Oxford’s interest could represent a twist.
Whilst Grigg has been prolific in the past in English football’s third tier, his time at Sunderland hasn’t been a happy one whatsoever.
The Black Cats bought him in January 2019 for an initial fee of £3 million, with the hope that he would fire the club back into the Championship.
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His first half-season saw him score four goals in 18 games as the Wearsiders fell to Charlton in the play off final, and in the following campaign Grigg scored just the once in 20 league appearances.
Grigg has spent time on the sidelines since December with a knee injury, but in his nine League One outings beforehand this season he’s not scored, so Robinson wanting him at Oxford to bring more goals may be extremely optimistic.
It’s hard to see a change of scenery being the main catalyst for Grigg to start banging in the goals again, but if he chooses to go to Oxford then at the very least he would be working under a former manager who believes in him in Karl Robinson.
Grigg still has another year left on his Sunderland deal, so any signing will likely be a temporary one until the season’s end, and if he does end up finding a run of form away from Wearside, then he could come back into the fold next season a new player.
It remains to be seen though whether that will be the case, as his lack of game-time in the last year and a half is surely working against a man who was once one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the Football League.