Reported Lewis Grabban interest illustrates how precarious Sunderland's situation is

Chris Coleman, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Sunderland cannot afford to lose Lewis Grabban and yet they reportedly have no control over the situation.

Chris Coleman, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Sunderland have endured a miserable start to their Championship campaign as they face the reality of another relegation battle in a lower division.

But not every Black Cats player has blame to shoulder as the inquests continue this Christmas.

Lewis Grabban has scored 10 league goals this term, making him one of the Championship's most prolific marksman despite Sunderland's lowly position.

Lewis Grabban of Sunderland scores a goal from the penalty spot during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in...

Unfortunately for Chris Coleman, though, Grabban's summer transfer from Bournemouth was only a loan deal.

And the Chronicle report that the Cherries could look to activate a break clause and sell the forward in January, with Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers interested according to TEAMtalk.

This would represent a huge blow to Sunderland's survival hopes, but the rumours also illustrate just how precarious their situation is.

The Black Cats would have been in even graver danger without Grabban's goals this season and yet they will seemingly retain the front man only as long as there are no serious bidders.

Lewis Grabban of Sunderland celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Sunderland do not appear to be in any position to offer Grabban a long-term contract now, but if they make money from sales in January, Coleman would be wise to look to secure the star man he already has before looking to strengthen elsewhere.

Signing Grabban on a cheap deal was a masterstroke, but relying fully on a loan man was perhaps not so wise.

His recall and sale would represent another desperate development in a dismal season for the Wearside club.

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