Brighton see Paddy McNair bid rejected again as midfielder admits he wants Premier League return
Brighton will have to increase their bid for Paddy McNair substantially if they are to sign the Sunderland midfielder - after a second approach was rejected.
The Northern Irishman is a wanted man, with Premier League side Brighton and Championship outfit Derby County keen on the 23-year-old.
McNair had a strong end to the season despite Sunderland's relegation to League One, scoring five goals as he put his injury problems behind him.
Brighton had a £2million bid rejected earlier this week, as revealed by the Echo, and have since upped their offer to £3.75million.
That too has been turned down by Sunderland owner Stewart Donald, with the club vowing to play hardball with any clubs who try to sign their young players on the cheap, insisting the Black Cats have no financial need to sell.
New manager Jack Ross wants to sit down with players and see if they want to stay at the club, but McNair - away on international duty with Northern Ireland - admits he wants to return to the Premier League.
Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said that McNair was Premier League quality, and McNair said: “It’s great when you have a manager believing in you.
“I love playing for Michael because he gives me so much confidence. I’ve learned a lot off him since I first came into the squad and I think I’ve definitely improved.
“If I can get back to the Premier League, that would be great, but I just want to concentrate on these Northern Ireland games and look at that afterwards.”