The latest on Sunderland's pursuit of Walsall midfielder George Dobson
Sunderland target George Dobson is currently training with Walsall’s youth team as he waits on a summer move.
The Black Cats are interested in signing the young midfielder this summer, with Walsall boss Darrell Clarke confirming last week that a bid from an unnamed club had been rejected.
Walsall’s senior team are currently in Poland as part of their pre-season preparations, but Clarke has decided to leave Dobson, and fellow wantaway team-mate Morgan Ferrier, at home.
"I chatted to both of them before and told them they weren't in the 22-man travelling squad – we'll review that when we get back," Clarke told the Express and Star. "The players know there were bids that obviously weren't acceptable for the club and turned down.
"They've both shown a desire they would like to move on and that's where we stand – but things can obviously change quickly in football and we'll review it when we get back and see where we're at.
"They've been working hard with the youth team this week.
"I haven't had a problem with the boys' attitude, they haven't given me an ounce of problem,” he added.
"Morgan is very, very lively – he just needs a slap a few times, but that's Morgan Ferrier for you – and Dobbo is a model pro, so there are no problems there.
"But we want players that want to play for Walsall – they might have changed their opinion when I get back and will be keen to be part of this group."
Ross is keen on Dobson, who has significant League One experience but potential to improve further.
However, any arrivals at Sunderland must be supplemented by a departure.
Dylan McGeouch had seemed a likely candidate, but Ross is keen to keep him and is adamant that he has a lot to offer this season.
Aberdeen had been to keen on McGeouch but have sinced moved to sign Scunthorpe United central midfielder Funso Ojo.
Derek McInnes said: “I couldn’t be more pleased to get Funso. He is a player who will fulfil a key position within my squad.”