Jim Rodwell outlines Sunderland's next steps on contracts with 11 players near end of deals

Sunderland have held preliminary talks with the nine players out of contract later this month.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 8:24 am

Jim Rodwell says the club will now ‘get serious’ about the next steps, though both he and manager Phil Parkinson have admitted that clarity over next season is going to be key in defining budgets.

Parkinson and Rodwell held a lengthy meeting shortly before League One clubs voted to curtail a season as they look to prepare for the new campaign.

“The contracts are expiring and we will get serious about the conversations,” Rodwell said.

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“I’m having a sit down with the recruitment team on Wednesday, I had five or six hours with Phil on Monday.

“We know what we want to do, it’s just how we execute it really.

“We have a plan of what we want to do, it’s just executing it.

“How do you put a value on a player in the current market, what does the market look like?

“There’s no playbook for any of this.

“We’ll get there, we know we’ve got to build a squad better than anybody else in League One for next season, we should have that.

“The challenge is in how we do that.”

Jon McLaughlin has attracted significant interest from other clubs, and is one of the players the club could lose this summer.

Rival clubs will be free to make an approach if Sunderland have not agreed a new deal by June 23rd.

Sunderland also have a decision to make on January signings Bailey Wright and Josh Scowen.

“Phil speaks to the players regularly and Richard Hill has been speaking to agents, just to flesh out what they think value looks like at the moment, “ Rodwell said.

“I still think it is difficult for a player out of contract to assess what the market looks like at the moment.

“Look, if you have five clubs trying to sign you, then yeah you’re in a good position.

“There are players here at the club that we want to keep, no two ways about it.

“But we’ve got to get it right and if they get a deal that they’re happy with elsewhere, there’s nothing we can do about that. “