Scottish transfer links
With Sunderland’s Scottish links due to Jack Ross and his backroom staff, there was always going to be plenty of transfer rumours regarding players from north of the border and that has certainly been the case recently.
First up Josh Maja has been linked once again with Celtic, with Sunsport claiming the Scottish champions ‘could be’ set to snap up the striker. The publication then goes on to mention that Brendan Rodgers’ side could snap up the 20-year-old on a pre-contract agreement and claim Jack Hendry or Lewis Morgan could head to Sunderland on loan as part of the deal.
How a pre-contract agreement, that would see Maja sign for Celtic at the end of the season, would see two players Jack Ross denied he was interested in this week sign for Sunderland on loan during this window remains to be seen.
Sunsport also claim that Sunderland will miss out on Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie with the Scottish international set to sign a pre-contract agreement with Wigan Athletic. The report claims Jack Ross made a late bid for the player but Latics boss Paul Cook sold the 27-year-old on a move to the DW Stadium.
Finally another Scottish international has been linked with Sunderland in the form of Derby County midfielder Craig Bryson.
Bryson is also out of contract at the end of the season and Rangers and Hibernian are rumoured to be interested in signing the 32-year-old, who admitted to Derbyshire Live that his future is up in the air:
It’s up to the club. It’s in the club’s hands.
I’ve got six months left of my deal. If they don’t come to me with anything, then it’s time to move on.
As it stands, that’s something that could happen.
You never know what’s going to happen in football but as far as I’m aware, there’s been no contact.
Wigan preparing for Grigg exit?
Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg is reportedly Sunderland’s main striker target for the January transfer window.
Although two bids have apparently been made for the striker, there has yet to be news of either bid being accepted but have Wigan started preparing for his departure?
The Latics yesterday recalled Devante Cole - the son of former Sunderland striker Andy - from his loan spell at League One side Burton Albion.
Interestingly, Cole cannot be loaned out again this season, nor sold, as he featured for Wigan in the Carabao Cup defeat at Rotherham United back in August, so will have to be with his parent club for the remainder of the season.
Clark takes over from Watson
Former Sunderland defender Ben Clark has been confirmed as the new Gateshead manager after Steve Watson departed for York City.
Clark had been caretaker manager but has now been handed the reins permanently and will be assisted by Ian Watson and former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson who will be a player-coach.
The 35-year-old made 280 appearances for Gateshead and told the club’s official website that he realises how lucky he is to be handed the opportunity:
It’s a very proud moment for me. I think in the situation that we were in you always have it at the back of your mind that it could happen but I am very grateful for the opportunity.
It was something that I knew I wanted to do in the long run – it has come around a bit quicker than I was expecting but it was something that I really want to do.
The training so far has been fantastic and I am really looking forward to the next few weeks.
Anything that I can do to help the football club I will do and I am know that I am very lucky.