Sunderland news: Lee Johnson makes honest admission about Charlie Wyke's future

Lee Johnson makes honest admission about Charlie Wyke's Sunderland future

Sunderland will be looking to end their seven-game wait for a victory in League One on Saturday when they head to Home Park to face Plymouth Argyle.

Although they are no longer in contention for an automatic promotion place as a result of their drop-off in performance levels in recent weeks, the Black Cats could guarantee a top-six finish this weekend by securing all three points on their travels.

In order to have the best chance of beating Plymouth, Sunderland may have to turn to Charlie Wyke for inspiration.

One of the stand-out performers in League One this season, the forward has been directly involved in 29 goals in 42 appearances and thus ought to brimming with confidence heading into this particular fixture.

However, despite Wyke's fantastic form, Sunderland have yet to tie him down to a new contract with his current deal set to expire in June.

Sky Sport journalist Keith Downie revealed earlier this week that the forward is being tracked by Nottingham Forest, Milwall, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough ahead of the summer transfer window.

Making reference to Wyke, Sunderland manager Lee Johnson has admitted that the former Bradford City man has improved as a player in recent months and that he would delighted if he decided to stay at the club.

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo ahead of the Black Cats' clash with Plymouth about the 28-year-old, Johnson said: "Of course I'd love to work with Charlie Wyke next season, but whether that's possible or not I haven't got all the answers for you.

"At the same time, what Charlie has got is a coach who trusts and believes in him, and with the coaching staff and his team-mates, have got him into a position where he's currently second top scorer with lots of different types of goals."

The Sunderland boss later added: "He's improved as a player over the course of the season, there's no doubt about that.

"I think he's grateful for that and hopefully that will stand us in good stead when the club is ready to sort of challenge for his contract."

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If Sunderland cannot convince Wyke to stay this summer, they may struggle considerably to find a suitable replacement for him as he has illustrated that he is able to thrive at this level.

Currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 7.36 which is the second-highest total recorded by a Black Cats player in League One this season, the forward could play a major role in helping to transform his club's fortunes in the coming weeks.

Providing that Sunderland do achieve promotion to the Championship via a trip to Wembley Stadium, their number-one priority during the upcoming transfer window has to be to offer Wyke a lucrative deal in order to fend off interest from elsewhere.

However, if the Black Cats are consigned to yet another year in the third-tier, it wouldn't be at all surprising if Wyke opts to move to a club in a higher division who can offer him a fresh challenge.

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