Wickham edging closer to Sunderland exit unless new deal is signed

Gus Poyet Press Conference Still

Gus Poyet has admitted that Connor Wickham is set to be sold unless he changes his stance and signs a new contract with Sunderland.

The 21-year-old ended the season with the Black Cats in fine form as he scored five vital goals to help Gus Poyet's side remain in the Premier League, but is looking increasingly unlikely to build on those displays as he nears an exit from the club.

Wickham has just one year left on his current contract at the club and has already rejected a new deal this summer, with Leicester and Southampton monitoring the situation.

He joined Sunderland from Ipswich in 2011 in an £8 million move but only managed to make an impact at the end of the last campaign and may now be ready for a new challenge.

Gus Poyet has admitted that the English forward will be offloaded if he fails to agree to a new contract with Sunderland.

"For me, Connor’s situation is clear. He needs to sign a new contract or we let him go – we sell him. There is nothing in between."

“He is an asset to the football club and we paid a lot of money for him."

“Last year, he was a key part of us staying up and he was very important. But he needs to realise that the club needs to look after the interests of the football club as well.

“I suppose that, one way or another, we are going to have an agreement," Poyet said speaking in the Sunderland Echo.

Leicester have been linked with a £6 million move for Wickham, while Southampton are also keen on the youngster and see him as an ideal replacement for Rickie Lambert, who has joined Liverpool this summer.

He would surely see plenty of first-team opportunities at both Leicester and Southampton, though Poyet would keep him at the forefront of his plans if he can finally agree a new deal at Sunderland.

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