The Black Cats are believed to have had a bid of £1m turned down by Wolves, with the Premier League club demanding double that amount.
But Johnson and his recruitment aren’t the only ones chasing the defender’s signature. Sheffield United could soon table a bid of their own.
Indeed, during a Q&A with the Echo, Sports writer for the Express & Star Joe Edwards revealed Wolves are in no rush to offload the 21-year-old.
He said: "Sanderson has always been highly thought of at Compton and when I saw him play for the under-23s, he was clearly one of the best prospects and a cut above,” said Edwards.
"With Bruno Lage coming in now, everything is a bit up in the air, but you would imagine that he would like to have a look at Sanderson in pre-season and take things from there.
"It doesn't seem like they are in a rush to get rid of him at the minute.”
However Edwards also believes a £2m will be enough to persuade Wolves into selling Sanderson – and Phillips has urged the Black Cats to meet his valuation.
“Just pay the £2million,” Phillips told Football Insider.
“£2million is not much for a player of his ability and potential in my eyes.
“It is an opportunity for the chairman to show his ambition. Don’t get me wrong, you do not want to he held to ransom but £2million sounds more than reasonable for a player like Sanderson.
“We know he is a superb player and we know he likes the club. I could see that at the cup final.
“For the sake of another million, in football terms, it is not a lot. Just get him on board and then that area is covered for next season.”
Here’s the latest transfer rumours from the Stadium of Light and League One: