Sunderland target Jason Steele but Blackburn Rovers boss warns they don't have to sell key players

Jason Steele in action.
Jason Steele in action.
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Tony Mowbray says Blackburn Rovers don't have to sell their key players amid firm interest from Sunderland in goalkeeper Jason Steele.

Sunderland are looking to bolster their goalkeeping ranks following the sale of Jordan Pickford to Everton for £30million and Vito Mannone to Reading for £2million.

The Black Cats currently only have Mika and youngster Max Stryjek on the books - both of which are yet to make a first team appearance - with Dutch stopper Robbin Ruiter currently on trial at the club.

Ruiter is a free agent and starred in the 3-2 win over Bradford City at the weekend and boss Simon Grayson has hinted he is looking to bring two goalkeepers into the club.

North East lad Steele would fit the bill and would certainly be within Sunderland's budget, with Steele valued around the £500,000 mark.

The 26-year-old started his career at Middlesbrough making 142 appearances before joining Blackburn Rovers in December 2014 on a permanent deal, Steele going on to make 105 appearances for the Ewood Park outfit.

Rovers have seen more than a dozen players leave the club this summer following relegation from the Championship but Mowbray says Rovers do not need to sell any player.

And if more players were to depart then it would be on Rovers' terms with money used to strengthen other areas of the squad.

"It’s not easy, every day we are trying to stay strong as a football club knowing that we don’t want to sell our best players if we are to achieve our aims this season and have the best chance to achieve our aims," Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph.
"Every decision will be made on merit.

"We are in a position where we don’t have to sell a footballer but if we do choose to sell one then it will be for reasons to give us funds to strengthen in other areas.

"I sit here relaxed about it but we have to strengthen and look for the right players."