Promotion rivals eye Sunderland star as EFL set to make crucial rule change ahead of 2021-22 season

Sunderland are stepping up their preparations for the new season.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 10:28 pm

That’s after Sunderland ran out 2-0 winners against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.

Aiden McGeady netted both goals for the visitors as Lee Johnson’s Black Cats gained some valuable minutes before the new season.

Sunderland have announced the signing of former Huddersfield Town attacker Alex Pritchard and ex-Blackburn Rovers midfielder Corry Evans alongside Machester City defender Callum Doyle on loan.

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Sunderland defender Bailey Wright has been linked with a move to Wigan Athletic.

However, further reinforcements are expected at the Stadium of Light in the coming weeks.

Here, though, we take you through some of the more interesting stories doing the rounds today:

League One rivals Wigan Athletic eye Sunderland defender

Wigan Athletic are interested in making a move for Sunderland defender Bailey Wright this summer.

That’s according to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon.

The Latics have also strengthened ahead of the new campaign with the signings of ex-Black Cats Max Power and Charlie Wyke.

The 28-year-old defender made league 35 starts last season and helped the Wearsiders keep ten clean sheets as they secured a top-six finish in the third tier.

However, Sunderland’s potential promotion rivals in League One this season Wigan Athletic are said to be interested in a deal to bring the centre back to the DW Stadium.

That would leave Sunderland even shorter in a position which they are looking to strengthen this summer.

EFL make substitution rule change ahead of 2021-22 season

Sunderland and their rivals will only be permitted to make three substitutions in English Football League competitions next season.

Last season, clubs were permitted to make five alterations per match in three separate intervals and name an extended bench of nine players.

The changes came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Daily Mirror, however, the EFL will revert to the previous ruling for the upcoming season.

It means EFL managers will only be permitted to make three changes in each match and name a matchday squad of 18 players in a reversal from last season’s regulations.

The rules will also apply to the Carabao Cup and Papa John's Trophy but an extra substitution will be permitted for both sides in the event of extra time.

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