North East UK news Sunderland back in for pre-season testing as Alex Neil's summer plans take shape PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Black Cats have not yet completed a signing but transfer activity is set to ramp up a notch
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Sunderland players were in a jovial mood as they returned for pre-season testing ahead of life back in the Championship. The club's official account posted footage of a number of senior players returning to the Academy of Light with Alex Neil greeting them at the door. The smiles on their faces may not last long as the Black Cats boss gets ready to put his side through their paces ahead of next season. The Wearsiders are by no means the smallest side in the division, but their squad is no where near the quality or boasting the depth that others are able to. The departures of Aiden McGeady, Will Grigg, Jordan Willis, Lee Burge and Arbenit Xhemajli will free up some wages for the Black Cats to work with, but as of yet, there's been very little movement on the transfer front. Sunderland are hopeful that Jack Clarke and Nathan Broadhead will return to the club after impressing on loan last year. READ MORE:Fans Together release statement after Kyril Louis-Dreyfus tightens Sunderland reins The duo returned to their respective clubs after winning the play-off final, with Broadhead earning a call-up to the Wales senior squad only for injury to force him to withdraw. The Black Cats have been linked with a move for AFC Wimbeldon's Jack Rudoni, but their best bit of business this summer will undoubtedly be securing the long term future of Ross Stewart.
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. His fine performances last season attracted the interest of Championship clubs; Middlesbrough, QPR and Sheffield United, but it's Europa League finalists Rangers who are currently in pole position. Their standing in Scottish football and last season's European exploits put Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side at the front of the chasing pack, but Sunderland were confident heading into contract talks at the end of last season. It's unclear whether these talks have taken place, with Stewart likely to be given more time off after ending his season later than the rest of the Black Cats squad. One thing that is clear, is that Neil needs more options in the striker role after Jermain Defoe's retirement left them short of options. Stewart is the only out and out striker at the club and entering the final 12 months of his contract - the club do have the option of another year but haven't, as of yet, exercised that. Lynden Gooch signed a new two-year deal with the club yesterday to bolster Neil's squad moving into next season. As things stand, the Black Cats have done well at containing any transfer leaks, but with the season fast approaching, speculation is set to ramp up a notch or two. READ NEXT: Sunderland hopeful of re-signing loan duo Jack Clarke and Nathan Broadhead 'Important step' - Kyril Louis-Dreyfus releases statement amid Sunderland ownership update Championship managerial pool that Alex Neil will relish pitting his Sunderland team against Sunderland second string set for Premier League 2 revamp next season Louis Saha casts Sunderland survival verdict and fears Ross Stewart exit
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