Where a permanent move for Dion Sanderson stands amid fresh Sunderland transfer rumours
Sunderland have once again been linked with a permanent move for Dion Sanderson – but where does any potential transfer stand?
National reports this week have suggested that the Black Cats have ramped-up their efforts to land the central defender on a permanent basis, while social media has been awash with images of Sanderson in the North East in recent days – further fuelling speculation.
So where does a potential deal stand? We take a look at the stance of all three parties over a potential summer move for the youngster:
The Sunderland Verdict
Lee Johnson’s stance on the matter is clear.
He’s a big fan of Sanderson and has been impressed with his performances in recent weeks, and would be keen to sign the young defender were he to become available.
But at the moment, that’s certainly an ‘if’.
Speaking in February after rumours of interest in a permanent deal surfaced, Johnson said: “We love Dion and he's ours for the short term, but obviously part of our job is to help develop him for Wolves if they deem that they want him to stay on.
"We wish him all the best [with that] of course.
"Of course, if not, then a club like our would of course be interested in a young talent like Dion.”
The Wolves Verdict
Sanderson has been with Wolves since the age of eight and is a player well thought of at Molineux.
Indeed, he has already been handed first-team opportunities – both on pre-season tours to Asia and in the cup competitions.
It’s not just his undoubted quality as a player that has impressed the Premier League side, but his personality too.
As academy chief Scott Sellars noted in 2019: “You’re not going to make it as a professional footballer if you don’t strive to improve, and he’s also got the sort of personality we like, really hard working, determined and committed.
"They’re qualities we’re looking for in players.”
Wolves’ belief in Sanderson’s potential was emphasised when they handed the central defender a new contract prior to his loan move to Wearside. That sees him tied-down to his boyhood club until the summer of 2022.
It looks unlikely that the Premier League side would be looking to sell this summer and, if they were, then a high fee would undoubtedly be required.
Much, though, may depend on who replaces Nuno Espirito Santo in the Midlands and where they see Sanderson in their plans.
Dion Sanderson’s Verdict
Sanderson was known to have enjoyed life in Sunderland and formed some close friendships.
But, publicly at least, the defender has made no secret of his desire to play for Wolves in the Premier League.
In a recent interview, he told Wolves' official website: "If the opportunity to play for Wolves presented itself, I would take it.
"Wolves have been my boyhood club, and it's where I see myself in the future."
But that hasn't stopped rumours circulating about a prospective summer move.
When asked earlier this year if he had any thoughts on his future following the speculation, the defender said: “Not really.
"For the time being I'm just enjoying my football really - taking it game by game, winning and enjoying it.
"I haven't really thought much of it, it's just enjoying my football.”