Exclusive: Sunderland knock back Paddy McNair bid as Jack Ross prepares to start work
Sunderland's relegation to League One has already encouraged a number of bids for their best young talent.
An offer in the region of £2 million for Paddy McNair from a Premier League club was rejected in recent days, with clubs in the top two divisions eager to exploit the Black Cats' travails.
Many of the youngsters who broke into the set-up last season are in high demand, with Joel Asoro and George Honeyman both regularly linked with moves away.
They have just one year left on their current deals, as well as fellow academy graduates Lynden Gooch and Josh Maja.
The new regime on Wearside have made clear that they want to keep the club's best talent and have no need to sell at a reduced rate, with the McNair bid in particular deemed to be derisory.
Sunderland director reveals huge response to season ticket offer and how it will boost Jack Ross' transfer kittyAfter a swift overhaul of the club's off-field structure, attentions have now turned to overhauling the playing staff, with discussions taking place regarding the future of individual players.
Chairman Stewart Donald said at his unveiling a week ago that he was determined to personally speak with the players themselves to determine their appetite for the challenge ahead.
He said: "The first thing we’ve got to do is talk to them all and see whether or not they want to play.
"The agents at this stage are the people who get in contact and we need to understand whether or not the agents or the players are driving this. You don’t know until you talk to the player if they want to be here.
"The agents always say the player doesn’t want to be here because it’s a chance for another fee, to move on. The first thing we’ve got to do is sit down and talk to them."
New manager Jack Ross will be charged with leading what is set to be one of the busiest summers in the club's history.
Jack Ross: The inside story on how and why he became Sunderland's ideal choice for the years aheadThe Black Cats will be eager to move on a number of players from the Premier League era and their stance on younger players would be tested if significantly increased offers were made.
McNair is much admired after bouncing back from injury problems in the latter stages of the previous season, scoring four goals in the last five games.
Ross is likely to need around 15 new signings to get his squad ready for the season ahead, and it will be one of his top priorities.
He is due back from a family holiday to start work on Wearside this Thursday.