Lee Johnson gives transfer update as Sunderland close in on Ross County striker Ross Stewart as fourth and final January addition

A deal for Ross Stewart will conclude Sunderland's incoming business in the January window, if completed.

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 4:08 pm

Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson says he was not aware of where that deal was at, with Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman and CEO Jim Rodwell taking charge of the final stages of negotiatons.

It's nevertheless believed that the Black Cats are closing on the addition of the 24-year-old striker, who will provide competition for Charlie Wyke.

The Ross County striker had interest from a number of clubs both in England and Scotland, but looks set to become the fourth and final addition for the Black Cats.

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"I don't know where the third one is at," Johnson said.

"My concentration has been on the game.

"In terms of incomings, we would be done I think with three if we got them.

"Outgoings, we'll have to wait and see but we want to trim the squad. Just to make sure that it is competitive but not too competitive, so players don't feel there's no chance of getting gametime."

Stewart's arrival will clear the way for Will Grigg to leave on loan, with the striker attracting interest from across League One.

Shrewsbury Town are the deemed the most likely destination for the forward, who is eager to move closer to his family and to get regular gametime.

Johnson says any deal will make no difference to the club's salary cap calculations, but he is eager to ensure his squad is 'competitive'.

Stewart's arrival would leave Sunderland with five senior strikers, with Danny Graham not expected to leave despite his current absence from the matchday squad.

"Will brings nothing into the salary cap, let me tell you, so that makes no odds.

"I’d be more than happy to have Will here but it does then become a case of how many strikers we have.

"Will wants to play every game, he wants to be closer to his family who are in Stafford, and we are probably going to have to accommodate that on this occasion if we get that extra man in."

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