New Sunderland owners reiterate their transfer stance as midfielder mulls over move

Sunderland’s new owners will continue to hold out for the “best possible fee” for wantaway players, as Didier Ndong mulls over a £6.6million move to Torino.

Sunderland have accepted Torino’s bid for the Gabon international, with the deal now subject to the midfielder agreeing personal terms.

Jack Ross.

Jack Ross.

Should the deal go ahead without any complications, then Ndong will be followed out of the door by a number of players – though Sunderland will only sell for the right price.

It comes as Sunderland’s summer revamp gathered pace with confirmation of the retained list and news that Marc Wilson, Billy Jones and Kazenga LuaLua have been released.

Ndong is next in line to depart, with a number of high earners set to follow him, including the likes of Wahbi Khazri, Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji.

Sunderland can’t afford their wages in League One. Formerly of Chelsea, Djilobodji’s wages, for example, have been quoted at €180,000 per month, which roughly equates to £40,000 per week.

Sunderland executive director Charlie Methven says that interest is high in several players, but they will only go for the right price.

Methven said: “In terms of outgoings, there’s a lot of interest.

“There are people who are trying it on to test us out and see if we’re desperate, and then they get a bit more serious.

“We’re not in the game of pretending that we want to keep all of those players, but we are in the game of holding out for the best possible fee for Sunderland.”

New manager Jack Ross continues to work hard on improving his squad, with the club working on multiple transfer deals.

This will be a huge summer of rebuilding and key will be moving the huge earners on, with club record signing Ndong in line to depart to Torino.

There was also strong interest in him from Premier League new boys Cardiff City.

The 23-year-old midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan at Premier League Watford, but didn’t play a single minute for the Hornets.

Ndong signed for Sunderland in 2016 for a club record fee of £13.6million from French side Lorient.

He became a regular under David Moyes as Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League. Ndong made 22 Sunderland appearances in the first half of 2017-18 before being shipped out to Watford.

Meanwhile, Ross has thanked John O’Shea for his contribution to Sunderland over the last seven years. O’Shea, out of contract this summer, has signed for Reading.

Ross said: “Whilst I didn’t work directly with John, everyone at the club speaks so highly of him, both as a player and a man.

“Coming from Manchester United, where he was schooled by Sir Alex (Ferguson), has clearly shaped him into the consummate professional, on and off the field.

“The positive influence he had on this football club will be long remembered.

“On behalf of everyone at Sunderland AFC, I wish John every success in whatever he chooses to do in the future and he will always remain a special part of the club.”

Meanwhile, the make-up of Ross’ backroom team is expected to be confirmed soon. First-team coach Robbie Stockdale and goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker left the club this week.

Ross will be assisted by No 2 James Fowler, who joined him from St Mirren. Dunfermline coach John Potter, a former team-mate of Ross’s at St Mirren, has also been linked with a role at the Stadium of Light.