Sunderland willing to grant Jack Rodwell free transfer after £70,000-a-week flop asks to leave

Sunderland are willing to cut their losses and grant Jack Rodwell a free transfer after the top earner asked to leave the club - but he won't get a pay-off, the Echo understands.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:33 pm
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:35 pm
Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell.

The Echo has learned Sunderland informed the wantaway midfielder almost two weeks ago that he could leave as a free agent but wouldn’t receive any kind of payoff.

Cash-strapped Sunderland are yet to hear back from the midfielder or his representatives.

Rodwell earns £70,000 a week and has 18-months left on his Sunderland contract but has barely played this season and the Echo understands he has made it clear he doesn’t see his future on Wearside.

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It remains to be seen whether the former Everton and Man City midfielder has played his last game for the club.

Should Rodwell depart it would free up a huge chunk of wages with Sunderland accepting there is little prospect of selling the midfielder, who is taking up a significant part of the wage bill.

Rodwell was the only player from last season’s squad not to have their weekly pay packet cut by 40 per cent following relegation yet the 26-year-old has made just three first team appearances this season through injury.

Chris Coleman’s midfield options have been decimated in recent weeks but he hasn’t been able to call upon Rodwell - who has been nursing a hamstring complaint - since taking charge.

Speaking last month, Coleman said it was up to Rodwell to prove he had the appetite for the Championship relegation battle and made it clear he needs to play more football.

Coleman, speaking in December, said: "We need players here with an appetite who want to play football. Ability wise, it is never in question with Jack. He has to play more football. I don’t care how he does it, he just needs to be on the pitch more. That will be up to Jack."

Sunderland signed Rodwell for £10million in 2014 but he has been unable to reproduce the form of his early career under a string of different managers.

Rodwell was booed by his own supporters in the home defeat to Sheffield United in September and hasn’t played for the first team since the 3-0 EFL Cup defeat to Everton later that month.

He has featured twice for the U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy in an attempt to reinvent himself as a centre back.

Rodwell is the latest player to express a desire to leave Sunderland, who prop up the Championship table.

Lewis Grabban returned to parent club AFC Bournemouth at the start of the month, while James Vaughan was sold to Wigan Athletic.

Both Lamine Kone and Watford loan target Didier Ndong - sent off in the 4-0 humiliation at Cardiff City - have also informed the club’s hierarchy they see their futures elsewhere.