Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has spoken out on the speculation linking Wigan Athletic with a move for Bailey Wright this summer, during a recent interview with the Shields Gazette.
It was previously reported by football journalist Alan Nixon on Twitter that the Latics are interested in signing the 28-year-old defender as they continue to shape their revolution at the DW Stadium.
Of course the Sky Bet League One side have already brought in two ex-Sunderland players in the form of Charlie Wyke and Max Power and now appear intent on making it a trio.
Now, Johnson has moved to provide some clarity on the future of Wright at the Stadium of Light as he stated the following recently:
“He’s got a year left on his contract.
“We’ve been very open and honest with Bailey all the way through.
“I don’t think the new ownership have seen the best of Bailey Wright, in terms of, he’s got to do better than the last ten games of last season.
“At the same time, he can, and he was a real warrior in that time because he’d been out for nine or ten weeks and then came in and had about ten games on the spin.
“We also know what he brings off the pitch more than anyone, he’s a fantastic human being and a great leader for us.
“Performances have been steady but I know there’s more to come.”
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Wright is currently side-lined by a groin injury that he picked up during the club’s training camp in Edinburgh, however he may return to action sooner than expected, with the severity being viewed as minor.
The Australian has been a regular for the Black Cats since joining from Bristol City last year and has made 44 appearances so far in red and white.
Sunderland are already short of options in defence as it is and I think they would be pretty crazy to let a player as consistent as Wright leave this summer.
He is an experienced player who brings good leadership qualities to the table and I think he will once again be important to the club’s hopes of finally achieving promotion.
Wright may be into the final year of his contract in the North East, but I fully expect him to prove that it is worth offering him fresh terms as I don’t think he would leave without a fight.
The interest from Wigan shows that he still has a lot to offer at this level, but I don’t expect the centre back to move on this summer.