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Linked goal-scoring League One ace has a release clause - is he a bit too pricey for Sunderland?

He’s got a release clause, but can we afford to meet it?

Luton Town v Peterborough United - EFL Checkatrade Trophy Third Round Getty Images

Sunderland were linked in the national media over the weekend with a move for former academy player Marcus Maddison, who plays for Peterborough United, and whilst it’s unclear yet where he’ll end up come the summer it has been confirmed that he has a release clause in his contract - which has obviously alerted a number of clubs to his availability.

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony is incredibly active on Twitter, and conceded in a tweet to a fan asking the question that Maddison does indeed have a clause inserted into his deal which will allow the player to leave for a nominal fee - though he did admit that it was more than the £2m quoted in this past weekend’s edition of the Sunday People.

The Daily Mail were the first outlet to report that Jack Ross is keen on bringing the former Gateshead winger back to the North East, but also admitted that there is also interest in the player from Championship clubs who, like Sunderland, have been understandably attracted to him having proven himself as the most productive player in League One last season.

Peterborough United v West Bromwich Albion - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Whilst Sunderland won’t be short of cash this summer, it remains to be seen whether we’ll see a level of spending quite like the one we’d need to attract players of the calibre of Maddison to Wearside this summer.

Stewart Donald himself admitted that we probably need two dozen players at least this summer, and though we are likely to have the best budget in the division it would seem rather unlikely that we’d go out and use a significant portion of our transfer kitty to land a player who has never proven himself at a level higher than the one we are about to enter.

So whilst a move for Maddison might be an attractive proposition to most Sunderland supporters, the likelihood is that we have to stretch the funds that we have got in order to ensure we have a strong squad ahead of what will undoubtedly be a tough and testing campaign.

Maddison in action for Gateshead FC
Gateshead FC

According to reports in the media this weekend, Championship duo Nottingham Forest and Bolton Wanderers remain keen on signing the player - and its easy to see why.

With ten goals and 21 assists in the league last season, Maddison has proven that he’s ready to step it up and, like many other graduates of the Peterborough United system in the past, it’s likely to go on and make a significant impact in the division above.

And just to put a rumour to bed - despite the fact that there has been tittle-tattle on social media suggesting that Maddison ‘is a mag’ in recent days, historic tweets from the player show that he’s neither a Sunderland nor Newcastle supporter but a fan of Arsenal - though he did say that he keeps a keen eye on both of the top clubs in the North East as he represented both as a young player before his professional career got underway.

Marcus Maddison (Twitter)