Donald discusses transfer business
Sunderland have reportedly had two bids for Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg turned down, as Jack Ross looks to strengthen his squad during this transfer window.
Various reports had suggested that both offers were so low that they were considered ‘insulting’.
When asked about ‘insulting offers’ on Twitter, Sunderland owner Stewart Donald strongly denied that any such offers had been made but asked for patience in what can be an overpriced month for transfers:
Jack with the greatest respect you have no idea on our offers. We have 1 league game till the window shuts so rather than rush for 1 game why not try and do the right deals rather than panic buy. January is always overpriced but we are definitely not sending insulting bids.— stewart donald (@stewartdonald3) January 18, 2019
He went on to say that he will talk about our business in this transfer window once the month is over and, as usual, you can look forward to him appearing on he Roker Rapport podcast to discuss the club’s decisions:
When January finishes we will explain why we did what we did and what the facts were around our decisions. Till then everyone is guessing but we have said we need to strengthen and back Jack and we will ⚪️ ⚪️— stewart donald (@stewartdonald3) January 18, 2019
Donald also said that there is likely to be an update on Josh Maja’s Sunderland future ‘early next week’:
Early next week I am sure we will update— stewart donald (@stewartdonald3) January 18, 2019
Wigan boss Paul Cook admitted Sunderland had made two offers for his player but although ‘everybody has a price’, he says he is not actively looking to sell Grigg:
It’s sad football these days, with the way the market’s going but I can only reiterate what I said last week to our supporters.
Everybody has a price, and I can’t say to our supporters that Will Grigg will not leave this football club.
What I can say is that we are not actively looking to sell Will Grigg. We’re not looking to lose players, we’re looking to bring in players.
Sunderland, I believe, have made two offers now, and they both fell short of where we would be with regards to Will Grigg.
It’s a debate I really don’t want to have but, until the window closes at the end of the month, this won’t go away.
I’m not even comfortable talking about this, because I don’t want the story to become: ‘Wigan are putting a price on Will Grigg’, we’re not looking to put a price on Will, we’re not trying to sell Will.
Sunderland have come in for a player and we can’t stop that.
As a manager I can only reiterate that I have no desire to sell Will. I’m sure Will would be disappointed with his lack of game-time at the moment, but that’s in no way to do with the situation we’re in.
Nothing could be further from the truth. But that’s more to do with personnel out on the pitch and style of play.
Reported target joins Aberdeen
Sunderland had recently been linked with a move for Birmingham City forward Greg Stewart, after the 28-year-old was recalled from his loan at Kilmarnock earlier this month.
He will not be heading to the Stadium of Light however, as the striker has re-signed for former club Aberdeen on a loan deal which will see him stay at the Scottish club until the end of the season.
Stewart had scored eight goals and provided eight assists this season, form which had attracted a number of offers for his services but Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was delighted to clinch the signing:
I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure the services of Greg until the end of the season.
He’s a player we enjoyed working with before and he’s been in fantastic form recently and hopefully he can carry that on for Aberdeen.
Greg had offers from elsewhere but he chose us, which says a lot about him and about Aberdeen Football Club, and I’m looking forward to him being a prominent player for us in the second half of the season.
The club is delighted to confirm that Greg Stewart has this afternoon signed on loan from English Championship side Birmingham City for the rest of the season.— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) January 18, 2019
Welcome back Greg!#StandFree pic.twitter.com/dFJcqp2eK6
Former loanee on fire
Former Sunderland loanee Dame N’Doye has had a difficult few years since his short spell at the Stadium of Light.
The Senegalese striker only scored once for Sunderland while on loan from Trabzonspor but his form for the Turkish club has been equally as poor and he was released at the end of last season.
N’Doye eventually re-signed for FC Copenhagen on a short-term deal, a club he scored 93 goals in just four seasons earlier in his career, and he has had something of a career resurgence.
The striker has scored 14 goals already this season and that has led to a new deal that will keep him at Copenhagen until June 2020.
Copenhagen’s former Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Ståle Solbakken said N’Doye convinced him he was fit enough to warrant singing thanks to some topless snaps he received from the striker:
We knew that he his contract expired this summer, and when he started sending me videos of his bare upper body, we knew he was very fit.
The only thing we were worried about was whether he had forgotten how to score goals because he had played as a wide player.