Sunderland were a struggling Premier League outfit a couple of years back who were somehow escaping relegations to maintain their top-flight status. They finally surrendered last season as a dismal performance saw them being demoted to the Championship. The club was in a turmoil and hit new low this term when witnessed another relegation which will now see them competing in League One – the third-tier of English football next season. The supporters, however, might expect a fresh start following ownership changes as businessman Stewart Donald has completed Sunderland takeover and the appointment of young Scottish boss Jack Ross following Chris Coleman’s departure might enlighten the Stadium of Light once more.
The former St Mirren boss achieved a comprehensive Scottish Premiership promotion before joining the Wearside outfit and will now perform a squad overhaul in this window. He is likely to use his influence in Scottish football and bring in several talented resources to rebuild the Black Cats.
If reports are believed to be true, Ross has sighted Hibernian midfielder John McGinn as his first Sunderland signing in coming days. The 23-year-old Scottish international has played a pivotal role to earn the Hibs a promotion last year and made them qualify for Europa League qualifiers in their returning campaign to the top tier. However, he will now enter the final year of his contract at Edinburgh and the growing interest on the versatile midfielder might force Hibernian to part ways with their prized asset this summer.
McGinn is reportedly available for a fee of around £3 million and Neil Lennon, the Hibs gaffer, should start finding his replacement real soon.
But the deal might not be a stroll in the park for Sunderland due to interest from Premier League pair Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth. The player will definitely snub a move to the third tier if offers are received from these two sides and the Black Cats will have to shift their focus elsewhere reluctantly. Also, his scintillating season has attracted the interest of the Glasgow giants – Celtic and Rangers with the former having the best odds to land the Scotsman for their sheer dominance in Scottish football.
However, any concrete offer is yet to be made from Parkhead and the options they already got in the middle of the park are more than sufficient at this moment. Brendan Rodgers should strengthen other slots – preferably deep defensive line as well as wide attacking roles, thus, let others compete for McGinn in this transfer window.
Ross, the new Black Cats boss, must influence the midfielder to make a move to Sunderland as they will be eyeing an immediate return to Premiership. With several departures on the cards, McGinn will be handed a significant role to script a resurgence at the earliest and end the nightmare.