Southampton Manager Provides Update Of Pursuit Of Sunderland Striker

Southampton manager Russell Martin has addressed the rumours of interest in Sunderland striker Ross Stewart, in quotes provided by the Sunderland Echo

The Saints interest in the 27-year-old emerged this morning when Football Insider revealed that the former Premier League side are expected to launch a bid before the transfer window closes on Friday. Southampton are on the hunt for a new attacker to replace the outgoing Che Adams, who is expected to secure a move to the top flight before the end of the week.

Stewart is a player with proven pedigree at Championship level, hitting 10 goals in just 13 league appearances last season before an Achilles heel injury brought his season to a premature end in January. His contract at the Stadium of Light expires at the end of the campaign and the Scottish international is said to have rejected offers of an extension.

Manager Tony Mowbray is light of attacking options of his own and it is believed that his exit will not be sanctioned unless the Black Cats can find a suitable replacement. His team have struggled in front of goal so far this season and the former Celtic boss has consistently pointed to Stewart’s return next month as a way to ease the pressure on his goal-shy front line.

It looks as though Sunderland will have to resist the urge to sell if they are to retain the services of their star striker though, with Southampton manager Russell Martin revealing his admiration of the player. Speaking earlier this afternoon, the 37-year-old said;

“I really like Ross, I tried to sign him at MK Dons.

“I really liked him then and he’s gone on to do brilliantly at Sunderland.

“He’s been out for a while. We’re going to be linked with so many players. Some of those are so far away that we haven’t even discussed, and some of them are really close to the mark and some of them we’ll probably end up bringing in.

“Ross is one of a number that we’ve been linked with, and again, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Stewart has averaged a goal every two games since his arrival from Ross County in 2021, scoring 40 times in 80 appearances for the Wearside club.

Writer’s View

This is Sunderland’s final opportunity to receive a decent fee for Stewart, although they will not want to sell at the detriment of their team. Their hunt for a new striker has so far faltered and they missed out on Fulham starlet Jay Stansfield last week, with the youngster joining Championship rivals Birmingham City on a season-long loan.

However, the player’s wishes may be taken into consideration here and with indication that he is unwilling to extend his stay, the Black Cats will be working furiously behind the scenes to land a replacement should Southampton follow up their initial interest.

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