McNair Bid Rejected...

We’ve apparently knocked back a bid for Northen Ireland midfielder Paddy McNair. The youngster was one of the bright lights last season and it is believed a number of clubs have been keeping an eye on him. The bid is believed to be in the region of £2m from Premier League Brighton. Given our financial situation we’ll do well to hold onto the former Man Utd man as interest in our better players is sure to increase.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has said that Paddy McNair is a Premier League player and he hopes his club situation will resolve itself. This comes after a reported £2 million bid was turned down by Sunderland: "I hope his club situation sorts itself out. I know what he is capable of. His running power and quality is evident to see, and he is so determined to get back to the Premier League and hopefully he gets that chance. Paddy was class tonight. Paddy McNair is a Premier League player. The reason he isn't is because of his injury. He joined Sunderland when they were in the Premier League. He then had a bad injury and Sunderland were relegated. But you've seen the quality in the last five or six games of the season. He scored four or five goals at the end of last season."

In other news, Steward Donald has explained that Sunderland have a financial burden on them and that the cost of running the club is simply too much for a League One side. Donald went as far as to describe the wages they’re paying out as “scary”: “Obviously the numbers didn’t surprise me because I had them to formulate an offer but was I surprised how bad they were? Yes. You look at Sunderland, the fanbase, the stadium, the potential, you think it should be functioning pretty well. Then you look at the cost-base and you find that excluding players, running this club costs more than 20 teams in League Two turnover, and that’s before we pay a footballer. That is quite scary. You could put together seven or eight teams in League One and that would cost the same as the cost-base here, before you pay a player. So when you go into League One you think you’ve got a massive financial advantage, well we’ve actually got a financial burden that we have to deal with in a sensible manner. We have all these fans paying their money and the trick is to get that working so that we can use to our advantage, rather than paying costs which in all honesty is a hangover from the club thinking it was going back to the Premier League when it didn’t. That’s a job to do. It’s not unusual for me to buy a business, I’ve done it plenty of times in the last few years. I’ve got a team of people that help me and I’m 100 per cent certain I know exactly what I’m walking into. It’s going to be hard work, challenging, and I need to make sure I get an awful lot more right than I get wrong, and the better I do that the less it will cost me. But I’m 100 per cent aware of what the potential liabilities are.”

Meanwhile git big fat Jordan Pickford has talked about his relationship with David Moyes and his diet after he was criticised for scoffing loads by his former gaffer: “I was always eating healthy, I wasn’t going to McDonald’s every week like the gaffer, Moyes, said at the time. A nice pizza after three points isn’t a bad way to have it. And we’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final.”

When asked about who will be starting at the World Cup, Pickford admitted: “None of us know yet. We work hard on the training pitch. Me, Popey and Butland. We are all working hard and pushing each other, so it is all competition.”

Then former SAFC stopper then talked about preparation for a penalty shootout at the World Cup, and insists he will take one if he has to. “We’ve been doing the walk from the halfway line,” said Pickford. “We’re not looking too far ahead but behind the scenes we’re doing a lot of work to be prepared for how we’d want to go about it. It’s pot luck sometimes. Sometimes you’ve just got to pick a side, wait and attack that side. If you get there you get there and if you don’t, get the next one. It’s like a lottery. If you save a couple you can be a hero but there’s no pressure on you. If I need to step up, I’ll take one. I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shootout but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under 17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager, John Peacock, changed it so I dropped to seventh and the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar.”