Manager's stance on reported Sunderland and Ipswich target as full-back search continues

Reported Sunderland and Ipswich target Hayden Coulson won’t be leaving Middlesbrough unless the Teessiders can find a replacement this summer.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:45 pm

The 23-year-old appeared set for a loan move to League One after falling down the pecking order at Boro under Neil Warnock.

Ipswich were said to be leading the race to sign Coulson, yet Warnock is reluctant to let the player leave at this stage.

“There's no way Hayden is going out on loan at the moment,” said Warnock following a pre-season friendly against Rotherham last week. “You've seen the squad tonight. We're very thin.”

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Hayden Coulson playing for Middlesbrough.

Another full-back who has been linked with Sunderland is Motherwell’s Stephen O’Donnell.

The Scotish international, 29, has been named the club’s captain for the 2021/22 season, and manager Graham Alexander says speculation is to be expected.

“I feel like I’ve gone back to January. When there was speculation about him, then the start of the summer and the start of pre-season,” said Alexander when asked about O’Donnell.

“Good players always attract attention. I expect his name to be linked and thrown around while the window is open, as will happen with other players, I expect.

“But what I see from Stephen O’Donnell is a lad who is dedicated to his job and to his club. He trains like he wants to be here, he plays like he wants to be here and he acts like he wants to be here.

"As far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t change and I’m happy with how it goes – the day when we don’t have any interest in our players, I’ll be worried.”

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