Sunderland’s Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman has emphasised that the Black Cats are not a selling club and will not be looking to cash in on star forward Jack Clarke in January.
Clarke has been one of Sunderland’s best performers this season. The 22-year-old has delivered 10 Championship goals throughout the campaign to help the Wearside club keep chase with the play-off places.
The forward’s impressive form in the second tier has led to Premier League interest recently. In the summer, top-flight clubs were already eager to sign Clarke, with Burnley reportedly offering over £10 million for the 22-year-old.
However, the Clarets’ opening bid for Calrke was rejected and this is a hard-line approach that Sunderland are sticking to ahead of the January transfer window.
According to Kristjaan Speakman, Sporting Director at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland has no intention of selling their best players. When speaking to Chronicle Live, Speakman reiterated that the Black Cats are well placed to keep their best players, which is a luxury of positive performances.
“I don’t think it’s a difficult conundrum. It’s just about having a really well-organised organisation at your football club.
“The selling the players part is a by-product of doing well, and that should be on the choice of the club in collaboration with the player at a given moment.
“The football club has turned down numerous bids on numerous players over the last couple of years, and we have sold one player.”
Speakman also argued that Sunderland will not have to sell important first-team players, like Clarke, just because Premier League clubs have shown interest. In addition, the North East club are less likely to sell this winter because they are in the Championship play-off race.
“When players do really, really, well and they attract the attention of the Premier League outfits then naturally that is going to be a difficult moment.
“But our ownership has been rock-solid around that and I don’t think we will be looking to trade players when we have that opportunity to get promoted.”
Speakman’s firm stance on Clarke may warn Premier League clubs that the forward is not for sale this January. The Sporting Director’s recent words, along with the rejected bid in the summer, show that Sunderland are certainly unwilling to sell their key players.
The Black Cats want to keep their best talents and prepare for the future. However, keeping Clarke for the remainder of this season at least will be a major plus as the forward has contributed nearly a third of Sunderland’s 32 league goals.