Sunderland have finally sealed a place back in the Championship ahead of next season and boss Alex Neil will no doubt be desperate to get to work in rebuilding the team to his liking and ensuring they keep on pushing up the Football League.
One name that they do seemingly see as part of their plans is Lynden Gooch. With the player soon to be out of contract, the side have decided to put fresh terms on the table for him in a bid to tie him to the Stadium of Light.
Quiz: Can you name which club Portsmouth sold these 23 players to from the last decade?
However, Portsmouth are also keeping tabs on the situation, although this latest report from The News suggests that they might not be able to swoop for him after all. Whilst they haven’t been ruled out of a bid for the player – and he certainly remains a target – it looks like Pompey could actually be out-priced of a deal for him.
That’s because Gooch is currently on £6,500 at the Stadium of Light and as part of a new deal with his current side, he could command that or perhaps more – and it might be a lot more than Portsmouth can afford to pay for the player on a weekly basis and they could use those funds elsewhere.
Gooch could certainly offer Danny Cowley’s side plenty in terms of his contributions in League One but he might just be too costly for them. With six assists in 38 third tier games from both flanks this year, he has been a key player for the Black Cats and can certainly produce the goods at League One level.
With the wage demands potentially too high though, it could leave Sunderland clear to tie him down though – unless there is another twist in the tail with the player and a new contract.
With Portsmouth having other needs in their team and Danny Cowley needing to make several signings over the course of the summer, it might not be a wise move for the club to put a large amount of money towards Gooch.
He’d certainly be a good signing for them and he’s proven at League One level. The 26-year-old has over 200 Sunderland appearances to his name so far and has produced the goods on a regular basis for the side and will no doubt relish the chance to test himself a league higher in the Championship.
However, he’ll only get that opportunity if he agrees a new deal with the Black Cats. With his wages already fairly hefty at this level, he is unlikely to be offered the same or more at Portsmouth considering they are still in League One. Even Sunderland might balk if he asks for more than what he is currently on.
Either way, he is a solid player – and it looks likely he could stay on at Sunderland and play in the second tier. For now though, the player and his future will remain unclear.