Lee Johnson responds to question over future of Sunderland forward Will Grigg ahead of deadline day
Lee Johnson remains in the market for forward additions ahead of the transfer deadline on Tuesday night – with Will Grigg’s future still up in the air.
There is a good chance Grigg will move on before the 11pm deadline, the striker is in the final year of his Sunderland contract and there is interest in one of the club’s top earners.
Sunderland’s head coach insists the ability to bring in another forward does not necessarily rely on first moving Grigg on.
Sunderland have so far added seven new signings this summer and the Black Cats have enjoyed a strong start to the League One campaign ahead of the visit of Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday (KO 3pm).
Do Sunderland need to either sell or loan Grigg first before adding another forward? Johnson insists the two are not connected.
“The two things are not necessarily connected. I don’t think that’s the case,” said Johnson.
“Obviously, you’ve got to work to a budget, but depending on what goes on over the course of a season, budgets adjust, realign, go over or come under. That’s just the way it works.
"You’re always trying to maximise what you can do and what you’ve got, and in the end, that will determine whether, as a manager, a coach and a club, you can maximise the value of what you’ve got.
“It’s been difficult times through Covid for all clubs, and that applies to us as well. It’s a big old club with a lot of square footage to manage and control. It haemorrhages money, make no mistake about that, but we’ve also got to try to be competitive.
“I think we’ve done well – we’ve changed a little bit in terms of the type of player we’ve brought in, but we’ve also brought in experience and quality as well as re-signing the ones that we wanted to.”
Meanwhile, Johnson is also expecting a resolution soon to the ongoing Denver Hume contract saga.
There remains an outside chance Hume could still remain on Wearside but so far the contract offer on the table has not been signed.
Hume has been training at the club’s Academy of Light base while he recovered from a hamstring injury but he is nearing full fitness.