Sunderland could miss out on Peterborough’s Marcus Maddison if they fail to meet his release clause, report The Northern Echo.
The playmaker missed out on the club’s pre-season trip to Spain, prompting speculation that he could be on his way out of the club, but owner Darragh MacAnthony quashed those rumours via Peterborough Today, saying Maddison had undergone a medical procedure which ruled him out.
Sunderland have reportedly been interested in the 25-year-old since last summer, but MacAnthony stated that he will not be sold for below his £2.5m release clause via the Northern Echo, despite only having a year remaining on his current deal.
The Black Cats have made just two signings this summer, but could have money to spend after the sale of Lamine Kone and release of Lee Cattermole.
However, MacAnthony stated that he is yet to receive an approach for Maddison from Sunderland.
Speaking to the Peterborough media team, he said: “We are relaxed about his (contract) situation. Everyone knows he has a release clause and Hull did test the water with his agent, but he will not be going anywhere if that release clause hasn’t been met.
“He has not been speaking to other clubs so everyone can stop getting excited.”
If Sunderland can muster the funds to make an approach they would be in a good position to sign him. Maddison is from Durham and must have ambitions for the Championship after proving himself one of the best players in the division for the past five years.
Maddison has finished in the top three assist makers for four of those five seasons, and his tally of 15 in both 2017/18 and 2018/19 made him the top assist maker, which explains why Posh are desperate to keep him.
Whilst this is great news for Peterborough fans, it is a setback for Sunderland. They lacked creativity last season and a player like Maddison would really push them towards promotion, but it looks like they will be unable to afford him.
It could get even worse for The Black Cats if Maddison agrees the proposed new deal, and with little sign of incomings – other than rumours – pessimism could begin to set in at the club. A club of Sunderland’s size should be able to afford a £2.5m fee, particularly for a proven player who will surely deliver and take them to that next step of promotion.