Sunderland striker close to exit as League One rivals make January move

Shrewsbury Town are closing in on the loan signing of Sunderland striker Will Grigg.
Sunderland striker Will Grigg.Sunderland striker Will Grigg.
Sunderland striker Will Grigg.

Salford also have a strong interest in Grigg but League One rivals Shrewsbury are leading the race to sign the striker, who has been a major disappointment since arriving on Wearside.

Speaking after the 1-0 win over Ipswich Town, Sunderland's head coach Lee Johnson confirmed that the pair have held talks on his future, and that he will not stand in Grigg's way if an opportunity presents itself.

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Grigg is currently out of action with a knee injury, though Johnson is expecting him to return soon.

The Shropshire Star report: "Town rekindled their interest in the 29-year-old centre-forward as Steve Cotterill decided the Northern Ireland international was the man to help his side hit the goal trail in the second half of the season.

“Shrewsbury came close to a temporary move for the frontman on loan last January and a loan deal is believed to be progressing but not quite concluded.”

The transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday with Sunderland boss Johnson is looking to add another forward player to his ranks this month, while he is also keen to bring in a left-back while Denver Hume is injured.

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Loans are a likely avenue given the salary cap restrictions facing Sunderland and their League One rivals this season.

On Grigg, Johnson told the Echo this week: "I'm fine in terms of, I have had discussions with Will and I think he feels it hasn't gone as well as he'd hoped it would in the last 18 months," Johnson said.

"If there's a challenge and a change that suits all parties in the short term, we might have a look at it.

"Saying that, me personally, I am more than happy having Will Grigg as one of my four strikers, and a fit, motivated version which you would hope to get considering he's been out of the team with that injury for a while."

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Expectations were high when Grigg arrived on Wearside but the Northern Ireland international has been a big disappointment with a poor goal return since arriving at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland are next in action on Saturday when they host Gillingham at the Stadium of Light.