Sunderland's Sporting Director gives update on Denver Hume talks with contract decision due
Sunderland expect a decision on Denver Hume’s future imminently, and Kristjaan Speakman says he has no issues with the lengthy summer process.
Head Coach Lee Johnson has said that the club need clarity on the 22-year-old’s thinking before the campaign begins, as he will need to recruit two left backs should the defender choose to depart.
Speakman agrees with that view, but says that the youngster has conducted himself impeccably throughout the process.
The talks have been complicated by the fact that Hume is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in the first leg of the play-off final defeat to Lincoln City.
Sunderland’s Sporting Director says he has a duty of care to the academy product, who he is eager to keep at the club.
“Denver’s contract didn’t have an option in it so it comes to an end and there’s a free agent,” Speakman told The Echo.
“So Denver then assesses the contract offer he’s had, takes some time to think and then makes a decision.
“He’s got to be comfortable with where it’s at, and that he feels comfortable that this is the right place for him to develop the next little phase of his career.
“The injury has been a difficult one because it’s created a discussion around when he’s going to back fit and that of course affects the offer.
“We feel we’ve made a really, really good offer.
“But there are a number of players out there still considering contract offers, and it’s just unfortunate for Denver that he’s a Sunderland player and therefore it’s, why hasn’t he re-signed?
“We feel we have to support Denver and give him the space to assess where he’s at.
“There’s several factors within the context of Denver’s situation and we have to give him the room to decide where he’s best suited,” Speakman added.
“He’s not going to start the season and therefore, there hasn’t been that huge time pressure on it.
“We have to be respectful that all of these players who are out of contract, especially in this new climate, they’ve got to make the best decision.
“Denver is in every day doing his work, he’s a smashing young professional and a cracking kid.
“We have no issue with where it’s at, at the minute.
“We are relaxed, but of course at some point you need the decision. We have to provide the fairest amount of time to make a decision, and we have a duty of care to Denver because he’s one of our homegrown players.
“We don’t like to go down the route of hard deadlines but I think that naturally, when the season starts, we need to know who is in the squad.
“Those conversations with Denver are ongoing.”
Sunderland are looking to recruit a new left back as soon as possible, with Hume’s absence meaning they currently have no senior options for the role.
Dan Neil is a strong contender to start against Wigan Athletic on Saturday as it stands, having impressed there against Harrogate Town and Hull City.