Mike Dodds believes Sunderland is well-prepared to fend off any interest in their most promising young players this summer. He mentioned that there haven’t been any indications from the players themselves that they are eager to leave. Despite Sunderland’s play-off hopes dwindling in the latter part of the season, leaving them in a midtable position with just three games left, there is anticipation that Jack Clarke may attract offers from top-tier clubs. Sunderland is willing to consider selling him for the right price, especially as he will soon enter the final two years of his contract.

Interest in several other Sunderland players is expected, particularly Anthony Patterson, Dan Neil, and Jobe Bellingham, who have consistently impressed and attracted scouts’ attention. Dodds mentioned that potential buyers will need to offer a premium due to the club’s effective management of contracts in recent seasons. He also stated that despite the team’s mixed form since the start of the year, he doesn’t think it has caused any doubts among the players about their future at the club.


Sunderland 3-1 Birmingham City: Jobe Bellingham on target as Rooney's Blues  beaten again - BBC Sport

“The football club needs to benefit from it, and all those players are under contract. I’m not sure about the specifics because I’m focused on the field, but I understand they have long contracts, so the club is in a strong position,” Dodds stated.

Dodds emphasized that any potential suitors for Sunderland players will need to be prepared to pay a premium. He highlighted that these players are not only young talents who have already shown their abilities but also possess the potential for further development. Additionally, their contracts offer security, adding to their value. Dodds made it evident that these factors combined justify the need for a premium price when considering any transfer.

That is the first thing I would say. You can’t deny that there are areas in which we need to improve when comparing this season to previous, so naturally, we’ll have to look at the team in the summer, he continued.

As we approach the end of our second season in the division, there’s a lot to reflect on, especially with the turnover of players and head coaches. We’ll need to assess where we can improve. Personally, I have a strong understanding of the dressing room and maintain a good rapport with the players. From my perspective, there’s no indication that anyone is seeking a move elsewhere. The speculation arises from our commitment to nurturing and advancing young talent. The club’s stance has been clear: they won’t let go of players unless it’s deemed beneficial. This was evident last summer, and I anticipate a similar approach this time. Sunderland is already laying the groundwork for what promises to be a crucial summer transfer window. While there might be some adjustments to our recruitment strategy, I don’t foresee any significant changes.

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