Championship side Sheffield Wednesday have hit a stumbling block to their hopes of keeping midfielder Lee Cattermole, according to the Shields Gazette.
They report that the Owls are keen to bring the experienced campaigner to Hillsborough as they look to clamber out of the second tier – but his huge wages could prove out of reach.
Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has managed Cattermole twice before – at Wigan Athletic in the Premier League and he was also the man who brought the midfielder to Sunderland back in 2009 for £6 million (Guardian).
But Cattermole is one of the few players left over from the Premier League era who have shown a willingness to dig in for the Black Cats and losing him would be a blow.
It’s difficult for a club like Sunderland, who hoped to bounce back to the Championship at the first opportunity fail to get over the line.
Keeping players for that one campaign to try and make an instant return is one thing but retaining those who have played at a higher level thereafter is even trickier.
It would be understandable if Cattermole wanted to move back up a league and reunite with a manager who clearly has a great degree of faith in him – after ten years of service to Sunderland.
But if his wages are too much for Wednesday, then Sunderland have got a boost to their hopes of keeping him.