Key Sunderland player hailed by Jack Ross with new contract talks to resume

Jack Ross has hailed Jon McLaughlin as the best goalkeeper in League One - with contract talks set to resume this week.

Sunday, 18th August 2019, 2:04 pm

Sunderland are keen to tie the Scotland international down to a new deal and owner Stewart Donald is confident a deal can be struck - provided both parties are ‘sensible’.

McLaughlin was a calming influence in the intense 2-1 league win over Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light, dominating his penalty area against their promotion rivals.

Ross said: “I’m obviously biased and there might be other managers that say it, but I believe I have the best goalkeeper in the league.

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Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin makes a save against Portsmouth.

“He was outstanding for me last season, he is such a low-maintenance player in terms of how he goes about his business and he is unflappable.

“He made a couple of big saves late in the game, but he also gives the defensive unit confidence by coming out and collecting crosses under pressure.”

Speaking on the Roker Rapport podcast, Donald confirmed contracts talks are expected to resume over the coming week.

Donald said: “Jon wants to stay, I’m certain of that, we want him to stay so we need a sensible starting point for the negotiation.

“I don’t think we got in a position when the negotiation first started that was particularly sensible.

“Jon is probably one of the best-paid goalies in the league so when you renegotiate that you know he probably deserves a bit more money and a longer-term deal but for that you expect to be protected if somebody comes in.

“You don’t do a deal that says this person gets loads more money and then can go for free and I think his agent didn’t quite start the negotiation off right.

“We’ve said, ‘Let’s sit down and just start that bit again.’

“Football contracts sometimes aren’t as straight-forward as you’d like them to be but ultimately where there’s a will there’s normally a way.

“If he is sensible financially and we are sensible financially I’m sure we’ll extend his contract. I’m very confident.”