Sunderland boss has this to say about Denver Hume as Leeds United defender deal nears
Lee Johnson says Sunderland will consider moving in the transfer market as the impasse over a new deal for Denver Hume continues.
Johnson revealed today that the left back is nearing full fitness after a hamstring injury, but believes a resolution to his contract standoff is not imminent.
With the transfer window closing at the end of this month, Johnson is aware of the need to act.
The Black Cats are close to a deal for Leeds United full back Niall Huggins, but the 20-year-old is adept at playing on the right and as such, that deal is not directly related to Hume's uncertain future.
"I think so [move on]," he said.
I think there has to be a point. Because at the moment it doesn't feel like a resolution is two or three days away, and yet the window is creeping up on us.
Decisions have got to be made and they will be made.
Inevitably, it will end up where Denver will have a choice and at the moment, I can't give you those answers.
"Denver is nearing the point where he's fit and available to train," Johnson added.
"I think everyone feels like they're in purgatory a bit.
"Naturally Denver want to protect himself and the club has to go through the process of protecting themselves as well.
"At this moment in time, the club and Denver's advisors don't feel they can meet in the middle and match up in terms of their valuations.
"I'd say at the moment it's take it or leave it with our offer and at the moment, he has left it.
"That's fair enough and that's his prerogative.
"At the same time, there's been a lot of work that's gone into developing Denver because he's a really good player. That's the shame, I suppose, because there's a really good player at the moment without a contract here or another club."
Sunderland's offer remains on the table, as they still retain so hope that Hume will commit his future to the club. And if not, it ensures the club are entitled to compensation should he move elsewhere.
"It's just business and a process that every club would look to do," he said.
"When you've offered a young player an increase in their wage and it's turned down, it's your legal right to retain the compensation rights.
"So there's no doubt that part of the process is causing us a few short-term problems, but in the end we hope we can get to the correct solution for all parties."
Johnson remains keen on further additions but says his squad is moving towards completion.
“I think we're getting there,” he said.
“We've had the emergence of some good young players, which I've enjoyed.
“We've brought in some experienced players to get that blend.
“It's fair to say we're still in for a full-back or two and that's an important part of the jigsw.
“Then, we always want to keep increasing the quality. There will be some bargains available, I'm sure, and we've got to stay active.
“I know the team, including myself, are on it all hours of every day.”