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NEW CONTRACTS: Sunderland owner Stewart Donald confirms talks have started with first team trio

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald confirmed during a chat today with Roker Report that contract talks have started with Josh Maja, Lynden Gooch and Denver Hume - and gave details on George Honeyman’s situation.

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Stewart Donald appeared on the Roker Rapport podcast this afternoon and during the course of his interview, he gave some updates on the contract status of some of the more important members of the Sunderland squad.

George Honeyman, Lynden Gooch, Josh Maja and Denver Hume are all out of contract at the end of the season and Donald revealed that while conversations have begun with the latter three - who have all indicated that they want to stay - over new contracts, Honeyman will likely be at Sunderland regardless next season as there is an option for another year in his contract once he has played a certain number of games:

George Honeyman, if he plays an X amount of games gets an extra year, so I think George is here for next year anyway.

We’ve begun conversations, lots of them are with the agents to come back to us, and we’d have hoped to have a few of them tied up by now but they are being a little bit slower.

I think there’ll be news on those players very shortly.

There’s a lot of talk around the youngsters, which is obviously [Lynden Gooch], [Josh] Maja and Denver [Hume]. All three of them have indicated that they would like to stay at the club.

We’ve put offers to them, we feel that they are very good offers. The agents are giving us their view of what’s a decent offer.

So the haggle is on.

While they aren’t the only players out of contract - Adam Matthews and Robbin Ruiter are also amongst that group - Donald says the club are concentrating on tying down the first team players who have come through the academy, with on loan duo Max Stryjek and Elliot Embleton also on high up in their thoughts:

We’ve got some others that are out of contract that we’ll talk to but we’re focusing on those youngsters.

We’ve got Max [Stryjek] down at Eastleigh that is out [of contract] and we’ve got to do something with him, and Elliot at Grimsby is out [of contract], so we’ve got him as well.

We know they’re due and we’ve begun conversations.

Sunderland’s owner also revealed that although manager Jack Ross signed a two-year deal with the club when he came in from St Mirren, he will have an extra year added should we get promoted:

I believe he’s got a year extension if we get promoted. He automatically gets a year if he’s successful. I’m not sure if he’s really successful if he gets another year as well, I can’t quite remember.

But I’m sure he’s got a two-year deal with a year extension should we go up.

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