Jack Ross opens up on Sunderland striker search and why he's hopeful of Will Grigg resolution

Jack Ross remains hopeful that Sunderland can land Will Grigg this month.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 10:54 am
Updated Monday, 21st January 2019, 10:59 am
Will Grigg remains a target for Sunderland in the January window

The Black Cats have had two bids rejected for the 27-year-old this month, with Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook saying last week that they had 'fallen short'.

Cook has been adamant that he does not want to lose the striker this month.

Will Grigg remains a target for Sunderland in the January window

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Ross says there is 'work to do' but does not believe the two club's valuations are so far apart that a deal is impossible.

"I think there's a bit of work to do," he said.

"Quite often the valuations are different and I understand that.

"I think this window [January] tends to do that.

"I don't think it is anything that couldn't possibly be overcome but that is more of a decision for those above me.

"For me, it's more just about the identification of the player, and then ascertaining whether it is possible.

"I don't think the door has been closed on it and I don't think Paul did that."

Ross admitted on Monday morning that he could potentially look to make three additions this month.

Grigg is the top priority, with Ross insistent that his squad needs another orthodox striking option.

The picture has been complicated by the Northern Irishman rolling his ankle in a substitute appearance against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Sunderland remain interested but Ross admits that he will have to look elsewhere if the injury is serious.

Paul Cook said in his immediate post-match comments that it looked 'quite bad', though Grigg did play on to full time after the incident.

"I can't comment on the extent of his injury, he's not my player," Ross said.

"But unless he's been ruled out for a significant amount of time then it wouldn't change our thinking too much.

"Tony [Coton] has obviously been in regular dialogue with Wigan.

"I get the feeling it isn't too bad but if it was a significant period, we would have to move elsewhere.

"You can't be completely short-term in your thinking but obviously there is the short term need for us to get promoted."

Ross does have alternatives but it is clear he is very keen to land Grigg.

The Black Cats boss has stressed that it is a difficult window to do business in, with fewer players available and at inflated prices.

"There's a plan B in the sense that there are players we'd be interested in," he said.

"It's not an infinite list.

"That's not through lack of work or diligence in any sense, but if anybody was to pore through the players who would be available, and that's an important point, and would fit the criteria of what we need, there's not that many.

"That makes it more challenging but we have to have alternatives, obviously."

Ross also added that he expects the Josh Maja saga to be resolved 'very soon'.

The Black Cats called for clarity last week with the 20-year-old still yet to commit his future to the club.

"I think there will be [clarity] very soon," he said.

"I've said often enough about the need for it and I think that will soon be the case.

"We need that for everybody."