SUNDERLAND have reportedly inquired about buying out the sell-on clause Derry City have on hot property James McClean.
The League of Ireland club are believed to be entitled to 15 per cent of any transfer fee Sunderland might get for the sale of a player who has set the Premier League alight since earning his league debut in Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge in December.
And that clause could net the Candy Stripes a relative fortune if the 22-year-old continues his meteoric progress.
Sunderland have no plans to sell McClean (left), who last week signed a new and improved contract which is set to keep him at the club until at least 2015. He is seen as one of the Black Cats’ stars of the future under boss O’Neill.
But Sunderland are understood to have made tentative inquiries about the Irish club’s buy-out clause, as they look to protect their investment.
Derry have refused to comment on speculation about the sell-on clause, but they are likely to have a big decision to make if preliminary discussions go to the negotiating table.
Should McClean achieve significant success at Sunderland and then move on in a big-money move, the Irish club could be looking at a seven-figure windfall.
But any offer Sunderland might make would guarantee them funds in the near future rather than the long-term and it would also avoid the risk of losing out should the winger suffer serious injury or fail to live up to his early potential.