Manchester City's view on Patrick Roberts amid Sunderland interest - plus promising stance on Callum Doyle's loan deal
Sunderland are tracking Manchester City playmaker Patrick Roberts as they look to bolster their squad – but what are the chances of him signing for the Black Cats?
Roberts, 24, moved to the Etihad Stadium from Fulham in 2015 but has made just three senior appearances for City amid several loan deals.
Following spells at Middlesbrough and Derby last season, the playmaker joined French side Troyes in August, yet things haven’t gone to plan with the Ligue 1 club.
To find out more about Roberts’ situation, we caught up with Joe Bray, Manchester City writer at the Manchester Evening News, to get the inside track:
Is Roberts completely out of the first-team picture at City?
JB: “Roberts is out of contract at the end of the season, and City were open to offers for him in the summer before he joined sister club Troyes.
"Sometimes they extend a players' contract before sending them out on loan to put them in the shop window for a sale when they return, but Roberts didn't even get that.
“He featured for City in pre-season when most of the first team squad were on holiday after Euro 2020, but he won't be in Pep Guardiola's plans as they try to win the Premier League and Champions League.”
Are City looking to recall him from Troyes?
JB: “Given he's just played 90 minutes over two appearances, it wouldn't be a surprise for his loan to be reviewed.
"His career has stalled during his recent loan moves, so it's fair to give him every chance of kick-starting his progression even if it's away from City.”
What are the chances of them loaning him to Sunderland?
JB: “With respect to Sunderland, it would be a step down from recent loans in the Championship and Ligue 1, but regular games should be his priority and if given the chance he should shine in a League One promotion push.
"Obviously Callum Doyle is at the Stadium of Light, and there are others on loan in the third tier like Gavin Bazunu, so City clearly rate the standard and there's no reason the loan would be ruled out.”
What's the latest with his contract situation?
JB: “He's out of contract at City at the end of the season, and with his first team prospects extremely limited it looks like a frustrating few years will come to an end in the summer.
"City could try to extend his deal before sending him out on loan again in order to get some money for him in the summer, but any decision this month will surely be with a view to get him playing rather than to reignite his chances at the Etihad.”
What about Callum Doyle – will City let him stay until the end of the season?
JB: “Doyle is playing regularly, seems to be impressing, and has plenty to play for in the second half of the season. There's no reason they would recall him, especially as he's still just 18.
"He'll learn far more at Sunderland trying to get out of League One rather than, say, sitting on the bench for a Championship club instead.”