Jack Ross reveals the truth behind Sunderland's pursuit of this top flight striker
Jack Ross has revealed that he monitored striker Christian Doidge during his time at Sunderland – but suggested his interest didn’t go as far as a formal bid.
The frontman is now with Ross at Hibernian, having caught the eye of the Scot during a spell at Forest Green Rovers – before going on to join Bolton and latterly Hibs.
“First of all, any player who is scoring prolifically in any of the three leagues outside the Premiership you are aware of,” said Ross, speaking to the Scotsman.
“And, for me, probably outside the Championship were the ones that would be flagged up. He got his move to Bolton then back to Forest Green.
“I was aware of him and was interested to see how he would do when I saw he was coming here in the summer. I have been impressed by him. He’s probably a bit different to what I thought – in a good way.”
Meanwhile, former Sunderland striker target Lawrence Shankland is ‘not for sale’ in January.
The prolific striker was heavily linked with the Black Cats over the summer months after a goal-laden campaign with Ayr United, but eventually opted to join Scottish second tier side Dundee United.
However, his fine form this term – which has seen him net 19 times already while earning a maiden Scotland call-up – has seen him linked with the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Nottingham Forest.
A fee of £2million was reportedly enough to test Dundee’s resolve, but manager Robbie Neilson has now confirmed that the 24-year-old won’t be on the move in January.
“I don't think there will be any bids getting entertained in January, that is for sure," he said, in an interview with the BBC.
"The owner [Mark Ogren] was over last month and spoke about the importance of keeping Lawrence and making sure that we get ourselves out of this league.
"Every player has his price but the value of going up would heavily outweigh that, not just financially but also the prestige and with the fans. I expect him to be here at the start of February."