Kristjaan Speakman has clear message on prospect of further outgoings at Sunderland

Kristjaan Speakman says any further departures from the Sunderland squad will only be sanctioned if it suits the club.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 6:00 am

Bailey Wright has been linked with a move to Saturday's opponents Wigan Athletic, leaving supporters concerned with the limited senior options in Sunderland' s defensive ranks.

The Black Cats brought in Callum Doyle on loan from Manchester City earlier this summer but with Arbenit Xhemajli still working his way back to full fitness, Lee Johnson's options are currently limited.

Speaking to The Echo, Speakman has strongly suggested a departure would only be considered if the squad could be strengthened further.

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Sunderland defender Bailey Wright

"I’d always say not to get too concerned about speculation," Speakman said.

"What I would say is I hope there’ll be a confidence that we won’t let a player go unless it’s in a situation that suits the football club.

"We’re well blessed because we’ve got a lot of players who would complement squads in the Championship and League One, and so there will be interest in them.

"When you’ve got players coming into the final year of their deal, there will naturally be interest.

"We’ll work on a case-by-case basis, and be flexible enough to deal with any changes we need to make.

"But we’re trying to build a stronger squad, not a weaker squad."

Speaking earlier this summer, Johnson said he believed there was more to come from Wright this season.

The centre-back missed the 2-1 draw with Hull City due to illness but is expected to be in contention this weekend.

"He's got a year left on his contract," Johnson said.

"We've been very open and honest with Bailey all the way through.

"I don't think the new ownership have seen the best of Bailey Wright, in terms of, he's got to do better than the last ten games of last season.

"At the same time, he can, and he was a real warrior in that time because he'd been out for nine or ten weeks and then came in and had about ten games on the spin.

"We also know what he brings off the pitch more than anyone, he's a fantastic human being and a great leader for us.

"Performances have been steady but I know there's more to come."

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