David Moyes has confirmed that midfielder George Honeyman is set to trigger an automatic extension to his Sunderland contract.
The 22-year-old’s current deal expires next month, but he now looks certain to stay and Moyes has said he is pleased that is the case.
The Black Cats’ manager said: “Yes, there is something in his contract and it automatically means we retain him.
“I think there is one more game to go.
“Of course [we want to keep him]. We don’t want to let any of our young players to go.
“We want to build and we’ve got a few good young players.
“Nobody will really look at it until we get players like Duncan Watmore back, Paddy McNair coming in, even George Honeyman, then you’ll start to see there really is a nucleus of four or five good young players here and hopefully they will all go the journey and stay with us and improve.”
Honeyman himself was coy on his future, but the academy product was clear that he hopes to stay on Wearside.
Moyes is hoping to speak to all players whose deals are soon to expire over the next week and Honeyman will be one of those.
The midfielder said: “I had initial talks with the gaffer the last couple of weeks and I think we’re sitting down again this week.
“That’s as much as I can say at the moment.
“I’ve been here since I was 11.
“I’ve seen it all even if I haven’t played that much.
“I just love playing for Sunderland, we’ll see what happens this week.”
Honeyman’s performance was one of the bright spots of Sunderland’s rare win at Hull City on Saturday, coming close to opening the scoring in the third minute and delivering a fine corner which led to Billy Jones’s headed goal.
Honeyman was particularly thrilled to be given a chance to shine in a prominent playmaker position and hopes he repaid the manager’s faith.
He said: “It was a big show of confidence in me from the manager, when I saw the system and where I was playing.
“I haven’t really played in that position since I’ve played in the first team – I’ve normally been a bit deeper – but the manager gives me a lot of confidence and hopefully I can repay that on the pitch.
”I like to think that I’m never afraid to get on the ball, that’s one of my key assets.
“Every time I play I just want to do the right things and show what I can do.
“I should have scored my header in the first half.
“I’m not known for my heading ability. but it was close – it should have hit the back of the net.
“I was delighted to play my part in the first goal though.”