May 25, 2024

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Sunderland chief explains club stance as Burnley pursue Jack Clarke deal

Kristjaan Speakman has addressed the recent speculation surrounding some of Sunderland’s young players.

Sunderland’s sporting director has again insisted that the club do need to sell players as Burnley continue their pursuit of Jack Clarke.

Clarke is in demand after a stellar campaign last time out, but Sunderland are in a strong position as the winger still has three years to run on his contract. Sky Sports report that Burnley’s most recent bid is in the region of £9million, which is highly unlikely to tempt Sunderland.

peakman told supporters at the recent fixture release breakfast that while sales may happen at some stage, the club is in a strong position and that the primary objective is to maintain a squad strong enough to challenge for promotion to the Premier League.

Sources: Burnley raise bid to £9m in effort to beat two Prem rivals to  Sunderland star Jack Clarke

He has stressed that stance in a recent interview with The Athletic, explaining that the club were relaxed about their position in the window. Clarke is not the only player attracting Premier League interest, with West Ham United weighing up a possible move for Dan Ballard.

Speakman said the club had prepared for all eventualities ahead of the window opening.

“The transfer window is open and the email can ping and there will be something to deal with,” he said.

The benefit of planning is that you’re basically doing a pre-mortem on those things. So if someone calls about a particular player, it won’t be the first conversation internally we’ve had about that player.

“We have to be clear here: the model is to create a team that can get promoted,” he added.

“The by-product of that is having good players and, if you don’t get promoted, some players will go past you. They are Premier League-ready and the team won’t be. Likewise, if you progress, there’ll be players who won’t keep pace.

“In terms of our squad composition, we want to be in a position where other clubs think our players would be assets for them. That would put Sunderland in a strong position. In terms of how robust we can be in retaining players, if the question is: ‘are we going let players leave on the cheap?’, the answer is no.”

Speakman added that the club fully understood the significance of the potential decisions ahead, and that they were confident in their valuations.

Sources: Burnley raise bid to £9m in effort to beat two Prem rivals to  Sunderland star Jack Clarke

“When we eventually sell a player who’s come, improved and moved on, I understand that will have huge implications for the club,” he said

“It could be next week, it could be next year. We think we know where value is in the market and we think we know our players’ value. I’m looking forward to adding that conundrum to Sunderland.”

Sunderland have meanwhile confirmed that they will play their first round Carabao Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday 8th August, with kick off at 7.45pm.

Tony Mowbray will likely rotate his side heavily, given that the fixture will begin 48 hours after the visit of Ipswich Town on the opening day of their Championship campaign.

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