After being the star turn of Sunderland's great escape at the end of the season, the club have been hoping to tie Connor Wickham down to a new contract due to the player only have one year left on his existing deal. The two sides have been unable to reach agreement so far, which has led to speculation that his future may lay away from the Stadium of Light.
Gus Poyet told reports that despite the contract wrangle Wickham is still part of his plans and his hoping to see him continue the form he showed at the end of last season but admitted that he is unsure of what will happen to the striker in the future;
Connor has been in my plans from - I would say - the last eight games of last season when he was playing all the time.
I'm looking forward to seeing him in the same kind of form, playing for us and scoring goals.
Then, in the future, what is going to happen is difficult to know.
West Ham United were linked to the player and a bid of around £5m was rejected by the club but they have since moved to sign Metz striker Diafra Sakho, seemingly ending their pursuit of Wickham. Crystal Palace were another club linked with the striker, there were even suggestions that a failure to secure Wickham was one of the factors in Tony Pulis' surprise departure.
With no shortage of interest in the striker, Poyet was not surprised that a bid came in for Wickham, something he always expects to happen when the transfer window is open;
I'm ready for someone to come in for any player because that's football. When you start the season with the transfer window open, you have to be ready for bids.
Although the 21-year-old cannot leave for free at the end of the season should his contract expire, as compensation will be decided upon by a tribunal if the buying club cannot agree a deal with Sunderland, Poyet and Lee Congerton will be desperately hoping not to lose a player who has finally come good after the club took a huge financial risk on him as an 18-year-old.
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