Jack Ross expects there to be clarity over the ongoing Josh Maja contract saga 'very soon'.
The 20-year-old scored his 16th of the season in the 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United and is comfortably the club's top scorer and a key figure in the promotion push.
He was applauded by the away fans when he was subbed at Glanford Park, his near-post header giving Sunderland the lead before they were pegged back.
But Maja - out of contract this summer - is yet to commit to the new deal on the table at Sunderland.
And there is increasing uncertainty surrounding his future with interest from clubs in the Premier League, Championship and abroad, especially the Bundesliga.
Maja's contract situation continues to be an unwanted distraction for Ross, who is attempting to guide the Black Cats back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Last week the Scot admitted he is ‘almost fed up’ of the saga and at his press conference earlier today revealed he expects there to be clarity very soon.
"I think there will be [clarity] very soon," he said.
"I’ve said often enough about the need for it and I think that will soon be the case.
"We need that for everybody."
The club's deadline for Maja to decide on his long-term future has long since passed.
With the Black Cats still to receive any indication that he will sign the contract offer on the table, their position is that they must now plan for him not to be here past the summer.
With two weeks left of the January window, however, a number of potential resolutions are still in play.
Maja is free as it stands to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club.
The player himself is not yet sold on that avenue though, so a January sale cannot be ruled out, as previously reported by the Echo.