Sunderland identify goalkeeper targets as Phil Parkinson reacts to Jon McLaughlin departure
Phil Parkinson says Sunderland will look to sign a senior goalkeeper to replace Jon McLaughlin this summer.
The Black Cats suffered a major blow on Tuesday when the Scot rejected the offer of a new contract to sign a two-year deal with Rangers.
Lee Burge looks to be in pole position to be the club’s number one next season, whenever that begins.
The former Coventry City stopper is experienced at League One level and made a positive impression during 11 appearances across all competitions last season.
Parkinson, however, wants to ensure that he has competition and says he has already identified some targets.
The Sunderland boss says he respects McLaughlin’s decision to leave and that hopes he makes a success of his move to Ibrox, as the 32-year-old targets the number one spot for his country.
“We didn't want to see Jon go, but it was his choice and we have to respect that,” Parkinson said.
“I worked with Jon previously at Bradford City and then at Sunderland, and he is a very good goalkeeper and an excellent professional - he is someone I rate very highly.
“But he wants to be Scotland's first choice keeper and that made moving to Rangers a very attractive proposition.
“He leaves with our best wishes and I hope he is a success there.
“From our point of view, we knew that there was always a chance that Jon would leave this summer so we had already started thinking about possible targets just in case.
“We need to bring in another senior goalkeeper as cover and competition for Lee Burge and we will press on with that.”
Promising youngster Anthony Patterson has signed a new deal to stay at Sunderland, having trained regularly with the senior squad this season.
Ideally, Parkinson wants to secure a loan move for him if he can sign the competition and cover he needs for Burge.
“I like Anthony and we're pleased he's signed a new contract,” Parkinson said.
“He is obviously still young and what he needs now is to go out and get some experience of senior football, so we will look to loan him out in the early part of next season.”