Sunderland’s Patrick Roberts and Jack Clarke are attracting transfer interest

The Black Cats’ defeat by Luton Town in the play-off semifinals means the recruitment team, led by sporting director Kristjaan Speakman, now knows they are preparing for another season in the Championship.

However, while there will be new transfer deals this summer, with Birmingham City youngster Jobe Bellingham set to be the first to walk through the door, the biggest battles are likely to revolve around the players currently scheduled at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland are in a precarious position with both Ross Stewart and Patrick Roberts approaching the final year of their current contracts. While Stewart’s long-term Achilles tendon injury means it’s unlikely potential suitors will decide on the forward until they’ve had a chance to assess his fit and comfort level in pre-season, Roberts is expected to attract more immediate interest after the official transfer window reopens.

The 26-year-old was one of the attacking stars of the Sunderland season, scoring five goals and providing seven assists. Premier League clubs are known to have shown keen interest in his performances in the second half of the season.

On the other side of Sunderland’s attack, Jack Clarke has also attracted a great deal of attention, with Brentford appearing to be eyeing a possible move for his services.


The Black Cats are in a better contract position when it comes to Clarke as his current deal doesn’t expire until the summer of 2026. However, with finances stretched after just one season in the Championship, it could be difficult for the Sunderland ownership group to turn down a reasonable offer if Brentford decide to reaffirm their interest this summer.

Ditto for Anthony Patterson and Dan Neil, players Sunderland would most like to keep but who are also attracting attention from the top flight.

Leicester City and Wolves have been linked with Patterson – the former are said to be interested in a possible swap deal with their own goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, who would not be dependent on them remaining in the Premier League – while Leicester and Crystal Palace have already been interested touted as potential targets for Neil.

None of the home academy players will be pushing for a move from Wearside this summer but, as with Clarke, it remains to be seen whether Sunderland can turn down formal offers if they arrive once the transfer window reopens.

Aware of the risk of his current squad being dissolved – the Black Cats have already bid farewell to loanees Amad Diallo and Joe Gelhardt and look increasingly unlikely to take up the option of signing Edouard Michut on a permanent basis – Tony Mowbray stressed this needs to keep as many talented players as possible immediately following his side’s play-off loss to Luton.

“The club need to build now and keep their best players,” Mowbray said during his post-match press conference at Kenilworth Road. “We have to keep growing. This is soccer. We have to keep building and improving if we want to be a force.

“I can list the teams hoping for promotion from the Championship next season – Southampton will be tremendously strong and if it’s Leicester, Leeds or Everton, what about them?” Sunderland’s Patrick Roberts and Jack Clarke are attracting transfer interest

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