Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch the focus of three Championship clubs as Alex Neil ‘plots reunion’
Stoke City boss Alex Neil is on the lookout for a new right-back
Sunderland’s versatile defender Lynden Gooch is reportedly the target for three Championship clubs this summer, according to reports. SI claim the long-serving Black Cats academy graduate is a target for Stoke City, Preston North End and QPR.
The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the club and has fallen down the Sunderland pecking order given the fine form of Trai Hume. The American has made just shy of 250 appearances in a red and white shirt and is the longest serving player at the club.
The report claims Gooch, along with Alex Pritchard and Danny Batth, have all been told the club won’t be extending their stay beyond the current campaign despite all three playing a big part in Tony Mowbray’s current set-up.
Former Sunderland boss Alex Neil is reportedly keeping a close eye on Gooch, with the Potters looking for a right-back this summer. The Stoke City boss worked alongside Gooch as the Black Cats won promotion back to the Championship, with the right-back an ever present during Neil’s time at the club.
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Neil is credited in being the man to permanently move Gooch to right-back, but did play there on a number of occasions prior to the Scot’s arrival at the Stadium of Light. The United States international will no doubt be looking to earn a new deal on Wearside as he did the year the club won promotion to the second tier.
Gooch cut an emotional figure after the final whistle of Sunderland’s play-off final win over Wycombe Wanderers, where he was full of praise for then Sunderland boss Neil.
“I genuinely don’t know,” Gooch said when asked about extending his stay [he would later pen fresh terms]. “Listen this is my club. If I get the chance [to stay] of course I would love to. The gaffer has been top drawer.
“He’s amazing. We’ve struggled for the last few years and obviously, our first season in League One, we lost the final and it could have been so different.
“He’s galvanised the group from tough times and we’ve got it over the line. You can’t be more complimentary to him, he’s been top drawer.”