| 9.1°C Belfast

Will Grigg linked with loan move as three Northern Ireland strikers involved in Sunderland transfer shuffle

 

Close

Will Grigg’s last appearance for Northern Ireland came in a 1-0 Nations League defeat to Austria in October 2018 (John Walton/PA)

Will Grigg’s last appearance for Northern Ireland came in a 1-0 Nations League defeat to Austria in October 2018 (John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Will Grigg’s last appearance for Northern Ireland came in a 1-0 Nations League defeat to Austria in October 2018 (John Walton/PA)

After Kyle Lafferty's arrival at Sunderland, another two Northern Ireland forwards could be making their way through the club's revolving door.

Lafferty's signing has added to the League One club's competition for places up front, with Chris Maguire, Charlie Wyke, Mark McNulty and Will Grigg the other options for firepower.

Considering Grigg has been limited to eight league starts so far this term, he is thought to be the man most likely to make way.

Swindon manager Richie Wellens has already hinted that he may be interested in bringing the 28-year-old to the League Two table-toppers, but Sunderland chief Phil Parkinson isn't willing to sanction a departure just yet.

That could change in the near future if the boss gets a deal over the line for the third Northern Ireland forward involved in the triangle.

Burton's Liam Boyce is the subject of the Black Cats' interest, with his current contract expiring this summer.

Burton manager Nigel Clough has admitted that there has been an approach knocked back for an immediate transfer but Sunderland are still understood to be interested in brokering a deal.

If that should happen, it could mean a short-term shift for Grigg.

“Will is going to attract attention because as we all know, his goalscoring record is very good,” Parkinson said.

“At the moment, he’s with us and he’s got competition for his place and that’s good.

“If the situation came with any player who fell down the pecking order and it’s beneficial for him and us for a loan move, we’d consider it. But it’s not at this stage.”

Lafferty joined the club last week and could potentially make his debut as early as Saturday's trip to MK Dons, with Sunderland knowing a win could lift the club as high as fourth in the table.

"Kyle's settled in well and trained well," Parkinson said. "He's got a challenge on his hands and he's got to get right up to speed but he won't take long.

"His last game was December 1 so he's had a bit of down time. He's still been training in terms of running and fitness but he hasn't had much football. It's been good to see him back this week.

"He's in the squad for the weekend. I want him to get around the boys and be a part of it. So far he's fitted in really well."

Meanwhile, Sunderland's Northern Ireland defender Tom Flanagan is fit for this weekend's game after scans on a shoulder injury picked up during last Saturday's 4-0 victory over Wycombe revealed no damage.

Belfast Telegraph