SUNDERLAND have been told Peterborough United do not intend to let Marcus Maddison leave without a fight this summer.

The Black Cats, who are closing in on another striker to boost their under-23s in the shape of Burnley’s Tinashe Chakwana, have been slow movers so far on the transfer front.

Only Connor McLaughlin has arrived as a new outfield player to boost pre-season training, with Sunderland having also brought in goalkeeper Lee Burge.

Sunderland are seeking fresh attacking impetus this summer and Doncaster’s John Marquis is one of the strikers on the club’s radar, while County Durham-born Maddison boasts the creativity Jack Ross is looking for in his squad.

But Peterborough have warned interested clubs that they intend to keep him and they are keen to tie him down to a new deal after entering the final year of his contract.

Speculation and rumours increased after Maddison did not travel to Spain for a pre-season training camp with Posh and interested clubs can take advantage of a £2.5m release clause in his deal.

However, Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony wants to keep a player who finished with the highest number of assists in League One last season – and someone who impressed against Sunderland.

MacAnthony said: “Marcus had a long-standing appointment for a minor procedure that the club were aware of and happy that it took place. He had to have it done and it meant he couldn’t come away with us (to Spain).”

He added: “We are relaxed about his (contract) situation. Everyone knows he has a release clause and Hull did test the water with his agent, but he will not be going anywhere if that release clause hasn’t been met.

“He has not been speaking to other clubs so everyone can stop getting excited.”

While there appears to be some work to be still done to secure the services of Maddison, Sunderland are closing in on Chakwana.

Sunderland are understood to have agreed a deal with the 20-year-old who was recently released by Burnley after a couple of impressive years at Turf Moor with the Under-18s and 23s.

Chakwana is looking for a club where he feels he can force his way on to the first team stage and at Sunderland the Zimbabwean international is sure to have that chance.

Sunderland are preparing for their first pre-season friendly of the summer on Thursday when they will face non-league South Shields.