Sunderland are facing a crucial next few weeks and they will need to start ramping up their transfer preparations if they are to be able to mount a successful promotion challenge.
The Black Cats would have been hoping to have made more progress in the transfer market than they have done so far in what needs to be a big summer for the club if they are to build a side capable of securing them a return to the Championship.
It has so far all been about major outgoings that might happen at the Stadium of Light this summer. Whilst the futures of Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady remain up in the air, it is the long-term situation of Charlie Wyke that will be causing the largest headache for Johnson at this moment in time.
There have been reports recently that have suggested that Wyke is looking more likely to be departing the club than choosing to sign a new deal.
The latest report on his future have revealed that the forward has held talks with Scottish giants Celtic ahead of what could be a potential imminent move to the Scottish Premier League.
Wyke has had his critics during his time at Sunderland, but what can not be argued is the form he managed to show in front of goal last term in League One.
The 28-year-old managed to enjoy something of a renaissance and fired in 26 league goals in his 45 appearances. That is an output that is going to be a huge loss from Johnson’s squad should he leave as is looking likely.
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The latest report from The News has revealed that Sunderland are interested in making a potential move for former AFC Wimbledon forward Joe Pigott.
The forward is set to be a free agent this summer after he opted not to remain with Wimbledon. That came after he fired home 20 goals and provided five assists in 45 League One appearances last term.
It has been reported that Sunderland’s League One rivals Portsmouth have also been interested in securing Pigott’s signature this summer. However, it is believed that they are ready to concede defeat in the race to sign him and move on to other targets.
That comes with Sunderland reportedly in the box seat in terms of League One sides in the race for Pigott because they are prepared to put forwards a big-money offer to him in terms of his wages.
However, both Bristol City and Luton Town from the Championship are also in the race to sign Pigott this summer.
It is believed that the pair have both held talks with the striker over the possibility of bringing him on a free transfer to enhance their forward options. While Pigott himself is thought to be preferring a move to the Championship.
The Black Cats might be able to change his mind by virtue of a large salary offer. If they could do that it would be a huge statement of intent. Pigott is someone that is proven in League One and he would be able to replace Wyke’s goalscoring output and on a free transfer, he would be a bargain addition.
It would be a signing that would transform the outlook of Sunderland’s summer window so far and also show that they are giving it a real go in the transfer market to try and finally secure promotion next season.
Their success in winning the transfer battle with the likes of Luton and Bristol City could well determine whether the Black Cats are going to be ready to make the progress needed under Johnson to finally end their stay in the English third tier.