STEWART DONALD is involved in discussions aimed at attracting outside investment into Sunderland – but the Black Cats owner is adamant he does not want to sell the club.

Reports emerged this evening suggesting that Donald was looking to leave the Stadium of Light less than a year after he took over from former chairman Ellis Short.

The Black Cats owner has been approached by a number of different groups in recent weeks, with Sunderland’s financial position having improved markedly in the last 12 months.

However, while he is keen to involve other investors in an attempt to increase the amount of capital that could be available to Sunderland in the future, he has no intention of relinquishing his ownership of the club at such an early stage of their recovery.

He will now assess the various options that have been presented to him, and decide what offer represents the best opportunity for the Black Cats to strengthen their financial position.

His fellow director, Charlie Methven, has also been involved in the discussions, which are understood to have involved potential investors based both at home and abroad.

Speaking to The Northern Echo ahead of Sunderland’s appearance in the Checkatrade Trophy final in March, Methven said: “We’ve been approached by a number of people who want to put money into the club, and we’ve talked to them.

“We’ve never hidden the fact that we’re potentially open to outside investment and that’s still the position. But the investment would have to be right for us, for the investors and for the football club.

“We see it as a massive positive that we’re getting these approaches – it shows we’ve made progress in terms of turning the club around.”

Sunderland have already welcomed one outside investor onto the club’s board, with Uruguayan Juan Sartori having bought up a significant shareholding last year. However, Sartori has been forced to limit his involvement with the Black Cats as he attempts to carve out a political career in his homeland.