Paddy McNair '˜not for sale' unless he hands in transfer request, says Stewart Donald
Paddy McNair will have to hand in a transfer request if he wants to leave Sunderland '“ after owner Stewart Donald said he has no intention of cashing in on the in-demand midfielder.
McNair has emerged as a top transfer target for a number of clubs this summer, with Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion having already had two bids rejected.
The second offer, worth £3.75million, was again dismissed out of hand by Donald, who says Sunderland want to keep hold of the Northern Irishman unless the player himself says he wants to go.
Brighton increase their offer, but not by much as they view McNair as a squad player at this stage, and with Sunderland under no financial pressure to sell that leaves the ball in McNair’s court.
McNair spoke on international duty about his desire to play in the Premier League again, but Sunderland are hoping he stays at the club next season as manager Jack Ross looks to build a squad to get them out of League One at the first attempt.
“It’s straightforward,” said Donald, speaking on Wise Men Say podcast.
“I think most people within football realise Paddy McNair is likely to be the best midfielder in League One. On that business we don’t want to lose him.
“He’s got two years left on his contract and he hasn’t expressed a desire to leave at this stage.
“If he doesn’t want to leave and Jack wants him to in his team, he’s going nowhere.
“That will be down to Paddy, if we get an offer that we feel is acceptable, which we won’t.
“So on that basis he’s not for sale.
“It would be down to Paddy to come to us and say I really want to leave.”
Donald is wise enough to know, however, that keeping unhappy players is not always possible – just as getting rid of players on big contracts, like Jack Rodwell, can prove difficult.
He added: “Have we got any intention of selling him (McNair)? Absolutely not. But in the modern world of football it is a transient business.
“You can’t control completely your players because it seems to be in modern football, as we’re finding out, if you’re signed to Sunderland and your player wants to stay but you don’t want them to, you’re stuck with them.
“If they want to leave and you have got a contract, they always tend to find a way to leave.
“It’s about finding the right balance. We’re not ridiculous – we now that if we get offers in for our players and there’s a real desire to leave it becomes about doing the best we can.
“But at this stage the offer camne in for Paddy but it was one of four or five offers for Paddy. They’re all ‘no’.
“We’ve got no intention of selling Paddy McNair and Jack, I think, will take the view that he probably wants to build the team around him.”