Sunderland striker target set for summer switch after telling club he 'wanted' to join the Black Cats
John Marquis looks likely to leave Doncaster Rovers this summer - having told the club in January that he wanted to join Sunderland.
The former Millwall striker was one name considered as the Black Cats sought a replacement for Josh Maja after he made the move to Bordeaux.
And while Jack Ross was ultimately frustrated in his attempts to land Marquis, who netted 26 times last season, the striker himself was left 'upset' at the fact he was unable to complete a move to Wearside.
Rovers manager Grant McCann admitted the striker was keen to make the move to the North East - but that he was convinced to stay as Doncaster eyed a promotion push.
“He's contracted for another year so a conversation I had with John in January was stay and help us get promoted,” said McCann, speaking to the Doncaster Free Press.“He was upset at the time.
“He didn't want to go, then he did want to go, then he didn't, then he wanted to go to Sunderland but in the end decided he wanted to stay which we were delighted with.
“It was a long day that last day of the transfer window. We had no time to replace him.
“One thing I'm about is if people want to move on and progress their careers then fine.
“Sunderland are a huge club but at the time I thought John could stay and help us get promoted, which is what I spoke to him about."
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Will Grigg eventually arrived at the Stadium of Light to fill Sunderland's striking void but, having failed to hit the desired heights since his move from Wigan Athletic, Ross could be in the market for more attacking recruits come the summer.
And the prospect of a renewed bid for Marquis could prove tempting, although the Black Cats will have to meet Doncaster's lofty valuation to have any chance of prising the striker from the Keepmoat Stadium.
"We have a set valuation and I think it's important," admitted McCann.
"He scored 26 goals last year and those type of strikers don't come cheap.
“For him to finish on so many goals, there's going to be all sorts of clubs chasing him.
“We've got to play it by ear.
”We've already got replacements in line to come in if he does go.”