Sunderland AFC transfer news: Attacker tipped for summer move with Stoke City, Barnsley, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough interested, Kevin Phillips talks Dion Sanderson, promotion rivals could suffer blow
Lee Johnson’s Sunderland will enjoy a rest until Saturday.
There’s no Tuesday game scheduled for the North East club this week.
That means the Black Cats will have had a full seven days of recovery by the time they travel south to face Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers in League One on Saturday.
A 1-1 draw against Lincoln last weekend leaves Sunderland unbeaten in their past 11 games in all competitions and have only lost once in their last 17.
But with promotion rivals Hull City and Peterborough United also drawing, the top of the table hasn’t changed.
The Black Cats still are just five points off first place but have two games in hand over league-leaders Hull.
Their fate in League One this season, it seems, is in Sunderland's own hands.
As usual, however, there is still plenty of transfer talk and general gossip swirling around the web:
Jordan Jones tipped for summer move by former Sunderland defender
The winger, who is currently sidelined through injury, has long been tipped to leave Rangers this summer.
A host of Championship clubs will no doubt be keen, while Sunderland themselves may register an interest too.
Stoke City, Barnsley, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough have been linked with a deal for the former Kilmarnock attacker.
Jones scored one and assisted the other in the Black Cats recent 2-0 win over Portsmouth earlier this month.
And speaking to Football Insider, Alan Hutton claims that Jones’ time at Ibrox is now up.
"I just feel his time at Rangers, he’s had enough opportunities, it’s not quite worked out.
"The player has to think of himself as well, he obviously wasn’t happy when he was there.”
Kevin Phillips talks Dion Sanderson transfer after impressive performances
Sunderland loanee Dion Sanderson has once again received praise following his performance against Lincoln City.
The Wolves man has cemented himself as a mainstay in Johnson’sside following injuries to Jordan Willis, Bailey Wright and Tom Flanagan.
Indeed, the 21-year-old centre-back has been linked with a £2m move to Sheffield United or Crystal Palace in the summer.
Sunderland, however, are also said to be keen on a deal when the window opens but that would surely depend on whether the Black Cats can gain promotion to the Championship this season.
Speaking to Football FanCast, former Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips said: “He’s been very impressive and has looked assured and confident on the ball, so yes, it’s no surprise he’s getting linked.”
Phillips continued: “I hope that he finishes the season strongly and helps them go up. I’d love to see him stay at the club next year because I think he’ll just continue to get better.”
Speculation over Sunderland’s promotion rivals and their manager
Hull City boss Grant McCann has emerged as a contender for the Preston North End job.
The Tigers are currently top of League One and eyeing an instant return to the Championship after relegation last season.
Preston parted company with manager Alex Neil on Sunday after a run of three straight defeats.
McCann had been installed as the overwhelming favourite with Skybet to take over from Neil.
City's head coach had been 5/2 but has since drifted out to 8/1.
The Lilywhites, though, have claimed a permanent appointment will be made in the summer.