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Sunderland’s transfer director, Kristjaan Speakman, sheds light on the negotiations surrounding Jack Clarke’s contract and the possibility of a summer sale…



Sunderland’s transfer chief, Kristjaan Speakman, has shed light on the ongoing contract negotiations with winger Jack Clarke and the possibility of a summer sale.


Despite Clarke’s impressive performance this season, Speakman emphasizes that his departure from the club is not necessarily imminent.


However, he acknowledges that all parties involved may need to make a decision in the future, especially considering the interest shown by Premier League clubs and Serie A giants Lazio, who made substantial bids for the player during the January transfer window.


Clarke’s exceptional performance in the past year has caught the attention of several Premier League clubs, who have closely monitored his progress. Additionally, Serie A powerhouse Lazio made substantial offers, reaching around £15 million, as the transfer deadline approached.


Despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, Clarke has consistently delivered outstanding performances on the field. Following another impressive display in the 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough on Sunday, he expressed his contentment at the club in an interview with Sky Sports. Clarke’s assist for Nazariy Rusyn’s late equalizer marked his 17th goal contribution of the Championship campaign.


“I am delighted to be a part of this team,” Clarke stated.


“Wearing the Sunderland shirt and playing for this club brings me immense joy. The external chatter doesn’t seem to affect me. As long as I have the privilege of representing Sunderland every day, I am content.”


While Clarke is not in a hurry to depart, discussions regarding a new contract have yet to produce any results. If this continues to be the case, Sunderland may find it more difficult to resist significant bids in the summer. Clarke’s current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2026.


In the aftermath of the January transfer window, Kristjaan Speakman provided insight into Clarke’s future and the ongoing contract talks.


Q: Did you have to fend off any clubs in the latter stages of the window to retain Jack Clarke at the club?


KS: We take great pride in having a talented group of players, and with that comes the inevitable interest from other clubs attempting to lure them away. It is a significant achievement for us to have navigated through the January window without losing a player of Clarke’s caliber. Just look at other teams in the league who have unfortunately experienced the departure of key players midway through a season. That is not the case for us, and it is a positive reflection on our club. The players themselves are genuinely content and enjoy being part of the team and everything Sunderland has to offer. We will continue to work hard until the end of the season and assess our position from there.


Q. Have any additional discussions regarding a new contract been scheduled or has that process concluded?


I believe that the conversations regarding this matter will never truly come to an end. Currently, everyone seems to be content with the way things are progressing, and these discussions will persist. Various factors can influence the course of these conversations, but we have always maintained an open dialogue with players and their agents. Our discussions about Ross Stewart, for instance, were continuous and never involved any abrupt changes. This ongoing approach reflects the norms of the modern game.