Sunderland manager Lee Johnson says he is unaware of any talks around a potential new contract for Luke O’Nien at The Stadium of Light.
As things stand, O’Nien’s current contract with the Black Cats is set to expire at the end of this season, meaning he could leave the club for free in the summer if no deal is agreed in the next few months.
Recent reports had stated that Sunderland are close to offering O’Nien a new long-term contract at the club, although it now appears that those claims may be premature.
Responding to questions about those reports surrounding O’Nien, The Sunderland Echo quote Johnson as simply saying that there has been “no change” in the situation surrounding the 26-year-old’s future, and that he is unaware of any talks about a new contract.
Since joining Sunderland from Wycombe back in the summer of 208, O’Nien has made a total of 122 appearances in all competitions for the Black Cats, scoring 11 goals in that time.
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Despite this revelation from Johnson, it is thought that Sunderland are indeed keen to secure a new deal for O’Nien beyond the end of the current campaign.
I do think Johnson’s admission here will prompt a small amount of concern for those of a Sunderland persuasion.
O’Nien does seem to be a key man for the Black Cats, so they will want to secure his services at The Stadium of Light beyond the end of this season.
As a result, the fact that there has apparently been no change in his situation according to Johnson may be a worry, given that until pen has officially been put to paper on a new deal, there is no guarantee that will happen.
That is something Sunderland will surely want to address quickly still in order to avoid that being an issue, and it would be a big show of strength and intent from the club if they are indeed able to do that.