Striker deal extended after Sunderland and Ipswich transfer links plus ex-Norwich boss reacts to sacking

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News from around the Championship concerning some of Sunderland’s league rivals.

Sunderland are still searching for a new head coach - while their Championship rivals are making plans for the new campaign.

Here are some of the headlines concerning second-tier clubs - with retained lists continuing to be released and head coach vacancies to fill.

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Striker’s contract extended 

When Sunderland were looking for a new striker in January, one of the names mentioned was Blackburn’s Sam Gallagher. Ipswich were also credited with interest in the 28-year-old, who missed a large part of the 2023/24 season due to an injury.

Blackburn have now confirmed one-year options have been activated in the contracts of Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan. Rovers are also in discussions with defender Kyle McFadzean and midfielder John Fleck, after both signed short-term deals at Ewood Park until the end of the season in January.

Wagner reacts to Norwich sacking

Sunderland aren’t the only club searching for a new head coach, after Norwich sacked David Wagner following the Canaries’ play-off defeat against Leeds, with assistant head coach Christoph Buhler also leaving Carrow Road.

In a statement released by the League Managers Association, Wagner said: “It was an exciting opportunity to return to English football and coach a club with such great history and people. I have enjoyed my time in Norfolk, getting to know the community and everyone who supports the club.

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“When Christoph and I arrived, we were confident that we could help the club to challenge for promotion and whilst we are disappointed by the nature of the result against Leeds, we are also very proud of the hard work that everyone at Norwich City has put into the season to reach the play-off semi-finals in such a competitive league.

“Although I am disappointed to be leaving a club with so much potential, I respect that the club has decided to move in a different direction without Christoph and me.”

Ex-Sunderland players released

Derby County have also released their retained list, with the Rams preparing for their return to the Championship.

Along with former Sunderland players Martyn Waghorn and Conor Hourihane, who came through the ranks on Wearside without making a senior appearances, Derby have confirmed Dwight Gayle and Korey Smith will leave the club at the end of their contracts this summer, as well as goalkeepers Scott Loach and Joe Wildsmith.

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