'A cut above': The Wolves on Sunderland's chances of signing Dion Sanderson and his £2million price tag
Wolves will be in no rush to sanction a permanent exit for Sunderland target Dion Sanderson this summer.
That’s the verdict of Express & Star writer Joe Edwards, who has given us an insight into where the 21-year-old currently stands at Molineux.
Sanderson has been heavily linked with a permanent exit from Wolves this summer and Sunderland are among a number of clubs monitoring his situation after he enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Stadium of Light last season.
There is also understood to be strong interest from the Championship, where Sheffield United are known to be among the sides who are interested in the central defender.
But Sanderson himself has made no secret of his desire to play for Wolves in the Premier League, and Edwards believes that new manager Bruno Lage may be keen to take a look at the academy graduate this summer – particularly given the defensive struggles the top flight side experienced last season.
"Sanderson has always been highly thought of at Compton and when I saw him play for the under-23s, he was clearly one of the best prospects and a cut above,” said Edwards.
"With Bruno Lage coming in now, everything is a bit up in the air, but you would imagine that he would like to have a look at Sanderson in pre-season and take things from there.
"It doesn't seem like they are in a rush to get rid of him at the minute.
"Breaking into a Premier League team is never an easy task, but Wolves' defence was not all that solid last season,” he continued.
"Most fans are in agreement that centre-half is an area that needs improving. Wolves have signed Yerson Mosquera but he comes in as a relatively unknown quantity, so there are still question marks over the position, really.
"Someone with more experience is what the vast majority would want.
"Sanderson seems worth a look, though, at least, over pre-season.”
Another option for Wolves this summer is another loan exit for Sanderson, who remains under contract until the summer of 2022.
But any such decisions are likely to be forensically examined before they are sanctioned this summer – meaning Sunderland and the defender’s other suitors may have to be patient in their pursuit.
“They have brought in a strategic player marketing manager in Matt Jackson to look after the club's sales, loans and releases,” explained Edwards.
"They're really pouring over these types of situations to see what is right for players so, again, I don't imagine they'll be in too much of a rush.
"And if there is a pre-season opportunity there for Sanderson considering he has been at the club for so long, I think he'd like to explore it.”
But if that opportunity doesn’t come, then the defender may look to alternate options.
A fee of £2million has been reported, and is one which Edwards believe would be a fair reflection of the player’s status at Wolves.
“Given he hasn't played for Wolves in the Premier League and he's going into the final year of his contract at Molineux, that seems fair.
"They can't ask the earth but having had a productive spell at Cardiff before shining at Sunderland, he is worth that.”