STEWART DONALD is prepared to wait to ensure Sunderland are in safe hands for the long term as talks continue aimed at selling a chunk of his shares at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats owner, who only took over the club from Ellis Short last year, has reaffirmed how he does not intend to move on and wants to stay involved to aid the revival.

Donald has been in discussions with US-based Mark Campbell over selling a large portion of his shares, which would see a new led by the real estate businessman consortium become the largest shareholder in the Wearside outfit.

There are more talks planned having seen an expected conclusion last week not lead to a deal being completed.

Donald, though, insists he is unconcerned. He has again outlined how he wants to be part of it – after criticism was levelled at him for trying to make a quick-profit, which was something he has repeatedly denied.

“The reality is I’ll definitely be staying for years and years, I would hope,” he said. “I can’t see any reason why not.

“What I’m trying to do is make sure I’ve got, not to the detriment of Sunderland, the biggest shareholding I possibly can so that I can try, which I hope the fans want, to keep the club with the same sort of transparency and focus that I believe they want.

“The challenge for us is not in the short term, which I know the papers and everyone are focusing on financially. The short-term challenge is to get promoted, the long-term challenge is to make us viable and then we can go to the Premier League.

“The investment is long term, the short term is promotion. So will investment come in really quickly? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know.”

Campbell is based in New York and was at the League One play-off final alongside Donald when Sunderland suffered the disappointment of losing to Charlton. That result meant the aim of promotion to the Championship was unfulfilled.

That led to further suggestions that Donald would sell up, but he claims to be focused on delivering a brighter future to Sunderland.

“The difficulty is, if you want a large chunk of investment, then you’ve got give up a decent chunk of the club and then of course people want to have their say,” he told TalkSport.

“The thing with it is, this isn’t about getting top dollar and selling an American billionaire. The reason this will take a bit of time is because the people I want in the club, I want to make sure they’ve got the right vision and tick the right boxes.

“You do the due diligence on the numbers but I’m having dinner with these people, having lunch, meeting their families, to make sure that if I do something it is absolutely the right thing to do.”

Donald insists that the recruitment drive has not been affected by the delay in talks with Campbell, despite missing out on Plymouth’s Freddie Ladapo who has just joined Rotherham for £500,000.

Doncaster’s John Marquis remains Sunderland’s top striker target, while manager Jack Ross is looking to sign players in a variety of positions – which is sure to mean further departures from a pretty large squad by League One’s standards. Dundee United have opened talks with another Sunderland target, Lawrence Shankland.

Big earners Bryan Oviedo and Lee Cattermole are two of the most likely candidates to leave but the clubs interested in them are looking to reduce their wage bill first. Sheffiled Wednesday, managed by ex-Sunderland boss Steve Bruce, is keen on Cattermole.