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Stewart Donald has again insisted that Paddy McNair is not for sale... unless he hands in a transfer request. The midfielder has already attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs. “It’s straightforward. I think most people within football realise Paddy McNair is likely to be the best midfielder in League One. On that business we don’t want to lose him. He’s got two years left on his contract and he hasn’t expressed a desire to leave at this stage. If he doesn’t want to leave and Jack wants him to in his team, he’s going nowhere. That will be down to Paddy, if we get an offer that we feel is acceptable, which we won’t. So on that basis he’s not for sale. It would be down to Paddy to come to us and say I really want to leave. Have we got any intention of selling him (McNair)? Absolutely not. But in the modern world of football it is a transient business. You can’t control completely your players because it seems to be in modern football, as we’re finding out, if you’re signed to Sunderland and your player wants to stay but you don’t want them to, you’re stuck with them. If they want to leave and you have got a contract, they always tend to find a way to leave. It’s about finding the right balance. We’re not ridiculous – we now that if we get offers in for our players and there’s a real desire to leave it becomes about doing the best we can. But at this stage the offer came in for Paddy but it was one of four or five offers for Paddy. They’re all ‘no’. We’ve got no intention of selling Paddy McNair and Jack, I think, will take the view that he probably wants to build the team around him.”

Top twat Joey Barton has revealed how he is relishing taking on Sunderland next season as manager of Fleetwood Town. He said: “League One is a very, very competitive league. It is an incredibly tough environment and you have some massive clubs in League One next season. The likes of Sunderland who will still be on a parachute payment structure. So, I am looking forward to, as a former Newcastle player, testing my tactical wits against the might of Sunderland.”

In other news, Sunderland’s first team will travel to Darlington away in pre-season on Wednesday, July 11 (KO 7.30pm). ALS will be providing transport, details to follow. Stewart Donald said: "I think the pre-season schedule is three or four calls away from being confirmed so we will get that out as soon as we can because I understand that fans will want to book things."

Meanwhile, Jack Ross has reportedly made a bid to loan 21-year-old Lewis Morgan from Celtic. The winger played under Ross at St. Mirren last season scoring 14 goals and grabbing 6 assists. However, it is said that Brendan Rogers is planning on giving him a chance to break into the first team so we should not expect a decision any time soon.

Elsewhere, former SAFC coach Robbie Stockdale is the favourite to become the new Bradford boss. It is understood that he has already had two interviews for the post, just two days after being relieved of his duties by Sunderland.

Finally, Jack Ross has compared Sunderland to the Old Firm clubs as the gaffer looks ahead to a busy and exciting summer. "In terms of Sunderland's infrastructure, I'd say that only the Old Firm clubs are comparable in Scotland. There are a lot of good things about the Scottish game and sometimes when you're not involved in it you don't quite understand that. By the same token, when you're not inside this club you don't quite get the magnitude of it. From the Stadium to the training facility, there's only the Old Firm in Scotland could compete with that. That's what's so hugely exciting about it. Maybe people from Scotland won't understand the allure of this job. You're coming into a real monster of a club but if you get it right it can be tremendously enjoyable.”