Sunderland not taking no for an answer as chase for Wigan Athletic’s Will Grigg hots up

Will Grigg finished the game at Sheffield Wednesday in discomfort after injuring his ankle
Will Grigg finished the game at Sheffield Wednesday in discomfort after injuring his ankle

Sunderland manager Jack Ross has admitted Will Grigg remains his top transfer target this month - although he accepts there is ‘work to do’ before persuading Wigan Athletic to sell.

The Black Cats are understood to have had three bids turned down for the Northern Ireland international, who has 18 months remaining on his contract at the DW.

Latics boss Paul Cook has reiterated his stance that he doesn’t want to lose the player, who picked up an ankle problem during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

But he was unable to guarantee Grigg wouldn’t be leaving Latics, as ‘every player has a price’.

With Grigg still being assessed by Wigan’s medical team, Ross is desperate to keep the wheels in motion with only 10 days to go until the transfer window slams shut.

“I think there’s a bit of work to do,” he recognised.

“Quite often the valuations are different and I understand that.

“I think this window tends to do that and sometimes, I think for historical reasons, us being involved tends to do that.

“I don’t think it is anything that couldn’t possibly be overcome, but that is more of a decision for those above me.

“For me, it’s more just about the identification of the player, and then ascertaining whether it is possible.

“I don’t think the door has been closed on it and I don’t think Paul (Cook) did that.”

Ross revealed Grigg’s injury setback hasn’t caused him to have a rethink about targets.

“I can’t comment on the extent of his injury, he’s not my player,” Ross continued.

“But unless he’s been ruled out for a significant amount of time then it wouldn’t change our thinking too much.

“Tony [Coton] has obviously been in regular dialogue with Wigan.

“I get the feeling it isn’t too bad. But if it was a significant period, we would have to move elsewhere.

“You can’t be completely short-term in your thinking, but obviously there is the short-term need for us to get promoted.”

Ross also confirmed he does have other targets in mind if a deal for Grigg can’t be concluded.

“There’s a plan B in the sense that there are players we’d be interested in,” he added.

“It’s not an infinite list. That’s not through lack of work or diligence in any sense.

“But if anybody was to pore through the players who would be available - and that’s an important point, and would fit the criteria of what we need - there’s not that many.

“That makes it more challenging but we have to have alternatives, obviously.”