Manager Sunderland have reportedly approached was 'devastated' to lose current Mackems star

A general view before the Premier League match between Sunderland FC and Middlesbrough FC at Stadium of Light on August 21, 2016 in Sunderland, England.

It is claimed that Sunderland have been granted permission to speak to the Wycombe Wanderers boss, Gareth Ainsworth.

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth during the Sky Bet League One match between Wycombe Wanderers and Lincoln City at Adams Park on September 7, 2019 in High Wycombe, England.

A move to Sunderland would see Gareth Ainsworth reunited with a player he was 'devastated' to lose as manager of Wycombe Wanderers.

According to BBC Sport, Sunderland have been granted permission to speak to the 46-year-old about succeeding Jack Ross at the Stadium of Light.

Ainsworth has managed Wycombe for the past seven years, and guided the Chairboys to promotion from League Two the season before last.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he has also been linked with higher division clubs, such as Millwall.

 

But there is at least one reason why Ainsworth may choose Sunderland - that's assuming he's given the chance.  

"It fills me with immense pride," Ainsworth told Wycombe's official website after Luke O'Nien's move from Adams Park to Wearside in July 2018. "I am devastated at the same time but proud because for a club like Sunderland to come in for a player who was on trial with us three years ago just shows what a fantastic journey he has been on.

"But if anyone deserves it, it is Luke O’Nien. He works his socks off. He’s always the last one in from training every day, he does his stretches, he does his work in the gym, he very rarely gets injured unless it is an impact injury and he is an example to all young players of how to make the best of who you are and what you are.

Sunderland's Luke O'Nien celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Sunderland and MK Dons at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland, England on Saturday...

“I wish him all the best at Sunderland. I wish he was still at Wycombe but we will watch his career with great pride, as we do with Alfie Mawson, Jamal Blackman, Ebe Eze - players who have come in and gone on to do fantastic things."

Since then, O'Nien has played more than 60 times for Sunderland, and scored or made 17 goals.

Another of Ainsworth's former players, Jason McCarthy, is currently on the books of rival suitors, Millwall - although the pair only worked together for a year.

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