Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has urged his former club to do all they can to offload Will Grigg this summer, including letting him leave on a free transfer.
The 29-year-old is on loan at MK Dons at the moment and though he still has more than a year left on his contract with the Black Cats, it doesn’t seem like he is part of Lee Johnson’s plans for the future – having been sent away on loan soon after the coach’s arrival.
Recent reports have indicated that new Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook is a “huge fan” of Grigg, having worked with him at Wigan, and is set to push hard to sign him in the upcoming window.
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips urged his former club to do all they can to get the Northern Irishman off their books this summer – even if that meant letting him leave on a free transfer.
He said: “It is easy for me to say he should leave on a free this summer.
“I know the club will want to recoup some of the money they paid for him but ultimately, he is on a hefty wage so they might just have to cut their losses and let him leave on a free.
“There is talk of a lot of money becoming available for Sunderland in the summer with the new owner. It might be best to cut your losses.
“Get Grigg off the wage bill, it will save you a fortune. If they leaves you could bring in two players for the money he is on.
“I would let him leave on a free but I imagine Sunderland will try their best to try and re-coup at least some of the money. One things for sure, he will be leaving in the summer.”
Grigg arrived in January 2019 in a big-money move from the Latics with Sunderland hoping he would be a replacement for the departing Josh Maja.
The striker has a fantastic goalscoring record in League One but his time at the Stadium of Light has been disappointing, seeing him find the net just eight times in 61 appearances.
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It’s hard to disagree with Phillips here.
The move for Grigg has ultimately been a failure and it would be best for all involved to draw a line under it and move on this summer.
If the Black Cats can get a fee for him then obviously that’s what they should look to do, particularly with Ipswich thought to be interested, but getting him off their books should be a top priority, irrelevant of the fee.