Sunderland could go completely against their policy to replace Clarke

Whilst Sunderland’s focus will be on finding a new manager after Mike Dodds’ interim spell at the end of the season, the Black Cats have been mentioned among potential suitors for an ideal Jack Clarke replacement.

Sunderland transfer news

Since parting ways with Tony Mowbray, Sunderland have endured a nightmare spell. First, in came Michael Beale in what proved to be a disastrous and short-lived tenure. Now, choosing to stick with Dodds on an interim basis until the end of the season, Sunderland are on a run of six straight defeats in the Championship.


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More bad news for the Black Cats…

Hardly advertising themselves well in the shop window for new managers, the Black Cats have been linked with the likes of Paul Heckingbottom, Steve Cooper and Marek Papszun, but are yet to get any closer to finding a permanent solution. Meanwhile, what hasn’t helped is speculation over the future of Jack Clarke.

With West Ham United, Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur all linked with moves for the winger, Sunderland could be forced to sell in a deal reportedly worth over £20m. Potentially needing to replace the winger, Carlton Palmer has tipped Sunderland to be among the clubs chasing Mikey Johnston.

Currently starring on loan from Celtic at West Bromwich Albion, Johnston may well end up staying in England’s second tier. Palmer told Football League World: “He’s had a fantastic time since joining from Celtic on loan.


“Yes, a lot of clubs will be taking note of the way that he’s playing, so you will be looking at clubs who will be looking at players moving on, Jack Clarke will be moving on, [Jon] Rowe will be moving on, and people will be looking at Mikey Johnston as a possible replacement. But certainly, Norwich and Sunderland, and other prospective Championship clubs will be monitoring the situation given his outstanding form for West Bromwich Albion.

“With Sunderland’s policy of trying to buy young players, and get them in cheap, I don’t think Johnston will fall into that because I think Celtic will be looking at least £2m or £3m given his form in the Championship.

“So whether Sunderland have the money to pay that, Norwich do have the money to pay for Mikey Johnston, so we’ll have to see come the end of the season, but he’s certainly done great things at West Brom and [is] attracting a lot of attention.”

“Fantastic” Johnston is a ready-made Clarke replacement

As Clarke heads for the exit door, Johnston would be a ready-made replacement despite being outside the club’s usual target age range, having enjoyed an excellent season at the Hawthorns. The Celtic loanee has scored six goals in just nine Championship games, whilst providing one assist.

Clarke, meanwhile, has scored 15 goals in 33 Championship games in what will be a difficult output to replace in the summer transfer window, especially if it’s not Johnston that those at the Stadium of Light turn to. What’s more, for around £3m, Sunderland would be getting themselves a bargain deal for the West Brom loanee.

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