Sunderland boss won't stand in the way of players wanting to leave - but only at the right price

Simon Grayson.
Simon Grayson.
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Simon Grayson won't stand in the way of players that want to leave Sunderland - but he insists they won't be sold on the cheap.

Sunderland, yet to make a signing, face a hectic few weeks in the transfer market ahead of the Championship campaign kicking off against Derby County on Friday, August 4.

Jordan Pickford has already moved to Everton in a deal worth up to £30million, while Fabio Borini has joined AC Milan and Jermain Defoe AFC Bournemouth, with several out-of-contract players also departing the Stadium of Light.

Further departures are expected in the coming weeks with West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion both interested in Lamine Kone, while Vito Mannone and Wahbi Khazri will also attract interest.

Grayson's focus is on quickly adding new faces, with Sunderland set to face Bury away on Friday night in their first pre-season friendly on their return from a training camp in Austria.

The new boss is under no illusions there may yet be further departures, though he hopes the players will buy into his plans for Sunderland this season.

If a player makes it clear they want to leave, Grayson won't stand in their way but he is adamant it will be on the club's terms.

Grayson said: "When the team is relegated from the Premier League, footballers at any club always have egos and they might think they deserve to be somewhere else and they deserve this that and the other.

"But it will be down to individuals who will hopefully buy into what we do and hopefully enjoy it here and think 'do you know something I can see this place developing and doing really well and I like working with the coaching staff and the management and I can see myself enjoying that.'

"If players come to me and they say I don’t fancy being part of what we are trying to do then I will allow them to leave.

"But they will only leave at the right price for this football club.

"I want players to stay, to enjoy themselves and work but if they don’t want to do that we will obviously bring in players that do want to do that."

Grayson signed a three-year deal at Sunderland on Thursday, bringing his former No.2 Glynn Snodin with him, while chief scout Ian Miller is also expected to join the pair on Wearside.