Sunderland chief Stewart Donald reveals the latest on Lee Cattermole

Stewart Donald has praised Lee Cattermole's conduct - and believes that the midfielder's desire to leave will not evolve into another Jack Rodwell situation.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19 July, 2018, 17:39
Sunderland's Lee Cattermole.

The 30-year-old remains under contract at the Stadium of Light until 2021, although the owner believes that he would be keen to play at a higher level.

But Cattermole, unlike other want-away players on Sunderland’s books, isn’t stamping his feet to try and seal a move away.

Indeed, Donald was quick to praise his attitude and application - and said his attitude is ‘completely different’ to that of Rodwell when he was looking to leave.

And the Sunderland chief is keen to find a resolution which suits all parties as Jack Ross continues to look to transform his squad.

“We had the Jack Rodwell scenario, but there’s a difference,” he admitted, during an interview on the Roker Report podcast.

“Yes, Lee is in the same financial bracket, but his attitude is completely different.

“So we need to find a resolution for it, but we need to be fair to him.

“Whilst we’re trying to find a resolution, you can’t ask for more of him. He’s been a really good pro.”

Cattermole is one of a number of players keen to leave this summer following the Black Cats’ relegation to League One.

Some, such as Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong, have resorted to drastic measures to try and seal an exit and have refused to return to the Academy of Light for pre-season training.

But there have been no such tactics from Cattermole, who Donald claims is doing all that can be asked of him.

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And the owner has reminded supporters that the midfielder cannot be blamed for the terms or longevity of his current contract.

“Lee Cattermole, unlike the others, has turned up to training, is doing his best and, as we’ve said before, his contract is not his fault,” he added.

“He’s been given an offer by the football club and he’s accepted it. We have to honour that, whether we think it is too much money for where he is now.

“We can have those feelings, but the reality is we have got to pay and Lee Cattermole has got to try his best for the football club. And he is. And you can’t ask more of him than that.”

Donald knows that Cattermole is keen to return to playing at a higher level, but the big stumbling block in any move will be his wages.

The Sunderland owner has revealed that the midfielder is earning far more than most Championship players - which could deter clubs from making a move.

“I think he would like to play the highest standard of football that he can but his contract is going to be a stumbling block for that,”

“Even by Championship standards, he’s on a lot.

“When we’re trying to sign players out of the Championship, I haven’t found anyone that’s on anywhere near what he is.

“But that’s where it is and we’ve got to pay Lee what he’s due and ask him to perform to the best of his ability. And he’s given everything.”