Sunderland AFC news: Cats open 'talks' over £2m Brighton, Brentford and Sheffield United-linked defender, Max Power opens up on Black Cats fans, EFL announced zero positive Covid tests
Sunderland are set to face Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
But ahead of the game against Joey Barton’s relegation strugglers, there’s still some big Sunderland and League One news doing the rounds.
Here, we take you through everything you need to know today:
Zero positive Covid-19 tests across 72 EFL clubs
One year on from the first Covid-19 lockdown, the EFL has confirmed that it has recorded zero positive test results for the first time.
A total of 5524 players and Club staff from all 72 clubs were tested as part of last week’s testing programme.
Today’s results covered all tests undertaken from Monday 15 to 21 March.
EFL chief executive, Trevor Birch said: “Today’s results are a testament to the hard work and efforts of all EFL Clubs during what has been a particularly challenging period.
“For 12 months we, like the rest of the society, have been dictated to by this virus. However, the stringent protocols implemented across the board have ensured that we are now able to turn our attention to returning to a certain level of normality.
“Our focus must be on maintaining this low transmission rate and then ensure supporters can return in full as quickly as is safe to do so. Football remains one of the most heavily regulated areas of crowd management, with EFL Clubs already demonstrating they can stage matches safely during a successful pilot programme earlier in the season.”
Sunderland ‘in talks’ with Wolves over Dion Sanderson permanent move
Wolves have opened negotiations with Sunderland over the sale of loanee Dion Sanderson.
That’s according to the Daily Mail who report the negotiations amid increased interest for the defender’s signature.
His performances for Sunderland have attracted interest from a number of clubs, including Brighton, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.
Wolves are said to be contemplating a sale this summer for around £2million.
Sanderson’s current Wolves contract expires in 2022 and he has spoken of a return to his boyhood club before deciding the next step in his development.
The report states that Sunderland hope their status and Sanderson’s good relationship with Johnson means they will be at the forefront of any decision the youngster makes.
Max Power opens up on what it is like to play for Sunderland
Sunderland captain Max Power has opened up on what it is like to play for the Wearside club.
“It’s like a religion,” Power said. “And with that, the players are more determined than ever.
“It’s hard to get away from the fact that when you play for a club like Sunderland in the North East, you realise how big a club it is and how important the club is to the city and the people in it.
“The football up here is like a religion and there’s no escaping that. Fans are desperate for us to get back up the divisions, so first and foremost that has to be our aim. But it definitely won’t be easy.
"One thing I’ve realised playing for Sunderland is, it’s a huge game for anyone coming to the Stadium of Light, and when we play away from home too.
"The following is always so big, it’s a cup final atmosphere everywhere we play and that’s probably what we haven't dealt with well so far.”