Sunderland AFC rumours: Cats flop wanted by League One rivals, Roy Keane considers ex-Newcastle United ace as Celtic number two

Sunderland AFC are flying high in League One and on course to seal automatic promotion.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 11:00 am

While Lee Johnson’s side sit two points outside the top two, their two games in-hand mean the Black Cats are in control of their own destiny.

League leaders Hull City dropped points at home to Gillingham at the weekend, though Peterborough United had no such problem, hammering Accrington Stanley 7-0.

The Black Cats remained on the tail of Posh with a 1-0 win at Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers – stretching the unbeaten run to 10 matches.

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Will Grigg of Milton Keynes Dons reacts during the Sky Bet League One match between Gillingham and Milton Keynes Dons. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Here are the latest headlines surrounding Sunderland AFC and their third-tier rivals.

MK Dons boss eyes longer-term deal for Will Grigg

MK Dons boss Russell Martin has reiterated his desire to keep Will Grigg beyond the end of this season.

The 29-year-old joined his former club on loan for the remainder of the campaign in January and has netted three goals since.

And after playing a key part in the Dons’ win against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, Martin wants Grigg to remain part of his plans for next year.

"He's one we'd love with us long term," Martin told the MK Citizen. "Griggy was brilliant and deserved a goal (against Doncaster).

“His link-up was fantastic, the way he brought others into the game, the way he pressed and made it predictable for the rest of our team – he's a real team player and a really clever player. I was really impressed with him today.

"The chances weren't clear-cut, his movement in the box is brilliant and that's why he's scored so many goals in his career.

“He's been unfortunate not to play recently because we've had to change shape and Cammy has done so well."

Roy Keane considers Nicky Butt as his Celtic no.2

Roy Keane could bring in former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt as his assistant, if he is appointed Celtic manager.

The former Sunderland boss has reportedly held talks over the vacant managerial role at Parkhead following Neil Lennon’s departure.

Butt, formerly of Newcastle United, left Old Trafford last week after nine years of working behind the scenes.

The Sun report the 46-year-old would be interested in teaming up with Keane, who is eyeing a return to management – 10 years since his last job at Ipswich Town.

Kevin Phillips reacts to Sunderland contract situation

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips says there are “massive decisions” to be made this summer regarding the club’s out-of-contract stars.

The likes of Charlie Wyke, Lee Burge, Luke O’Nien, Grant Leadbitter, Josh Scowen, Aiden McGeady and Max Power will, at present, see their deals expire.

He told Football Insider: “There will be a lot of big decisions to make in the summer.

“Do you get them all back on contracts and give them a go in the Championship or take it as an opportunity to get these players off the books. That way they could get younger players in and go again. It could be seen as a chance to freshen their squad up.

“There are some massive decisions for the chairman to make but do not worry about it until the season is over.

“It will be interesting to see who is kept. I definitely think Charlie Wyke will. He would be a handful in the Championship next season if they get promoted.”

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