Sunderland stepped up their preparations for the upcoming League One season on Saturday by beating Harrogate Town 4-0 in their latest pre-season friendly.
A brace from Elliot Embleton combined with a strike from Carl Winchester and an own-goal from Mark Oxley sealed a comfortable victory for the Black Cats at the EnviroVent Stadium.
Set to kick-off their third-tier campaign in just under two weeks' time against Wigan Athletic, Sunderland are currently facing an uphill battle to prevent their opponents from signing one of their players.
Having already secured the services of Charlie Wyke and Max Power, the Latics are now weighing up a potential swoop for Bailey Wright.
A report from The Sun journalist Alan Nixon earlier this month suggested that Wigan were keeping tabs on the defender's situation at the Stadium of Light.
The defender made 39 appearances in all competitions for Lee Johnson's side last season as the club missed out on promotion to the Championship.
In a fresh update concerning Wright's future, it has now been revealed that Wigan are reportedly looking to step up their transfer pursuit.
According to Nixon, the Latics are optimistic that they can seal a deal for Wright before the end of the transfer window.
However, negotiations between the two sides may be affected by the fact that they are set to face off on the opening weekend of the season.
Considering that Sunderland are relatively short of options at centre-back, Wright's departure could force Johnson to draft in some fresh faces in the coming weeks as a failure to do so may have a negative impact on the club's fortunes.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Although the Black Cats could receive a respectable fee for Wright due to the fact that his contract is not set to expire until 2022, there is no guarantee that they will be able to find a suitable replacement for him.
Whilst the defender did lack some consistency during the latter stages of the previous campaign, he still managed to average the fourth-highest WhoScored match rating for his side in League One (6.94).
Wright also ranked in the top-five at the Stadium of Light for aerial duels won per game (4.3) and clearances per game (4.6).
When you take Wright's excellent track-record at this level into consideration, it would be a foolish decision by Sunderland to let him leave and thus Johnson should be doing everything in his power to prevent Wigan from completing this signing.
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