SUNDERLAND will listen to offers for Will Grigg as part of their planned summer overhaul, with Phil Parkinson hoping to offload the striker in order to free up some space on the wage bill.

Grigg’s Sunderland career has not gone to plan since he made a £3m move from Wigan Athletic 18 months ago, with his 52 appearances for the club producing just eight goals.

He almost left Wearside on a loan basis in January, but with Parkinson reluctant to release him to one of the Black Cats’ promotion rivals, a number of offers were rejected. Grigg also turned down the opportunity to join a couple of clubs in League Two.

Having remained at the Stadium of Light, the Northern Ireland international did not feature at all in the two months prior to lockdown, with his most recent Sunderland appearance having come as a substitute in December’s 1-1 draw with Blackpool.

He remains one of the highest-paid players on the Black Cats’ books though, and his departure this summer would free up a considerable sum that could be reinvested elsewhere.

Sunderland’s attacking ranks are set for a major overhaul, with Kyle Lafferty, Chris Maguire and Duncan Watmore all due to become free agents at the end of this month and Antoine Semenyo having returned to Bristol City following the end of his loan spell. Maguire is set to be retained as Sunderland can trigger a clause in the Scotsman’s contract extending his stay by another 12 months, but there are likely to be gaps in the forward line that need filling.

Nevertheless, Grigg would still be sold if an acceptable offer was forthcoming, with his name set to be circulated amongst clubs in League One and the Championship.

Sunderland officials accept they are unlikely to recoup the £3m sum that was spent to sign Grigg in January 2019 – the deal would have been worth £4m if a number of clauses had been met – but they will demand a certain amount of recompense if the forward is to move on before the start of next season.

Grigg is aware of the situation, and is understood to be keen on a new start provided an attractive proposition presents itself in the next few months.

Sunderland’s League One season was ended on Tuesday, as an extraordinary meeting of the EFL board resulted in a vote sanctioning the curtailment of the campaign.

The proceedings were not without controversy, however, and one of Sunderland’s fellow League One clubs are considering legal action in an attempt to have last week’s decision overturned.

Tranmere Rovers were relegated to League Two on Tuesday, but given they were only three points from safety with a game in hand, their chairman, Mark Palios, feels they have been unfairly punished.

Palios, who estimates Tranmere will suffer a £1m loss of revenue next season, was forced to issue around 20 redundancy notices in the wake of relegation, and is ready to go to the courts in an attempt to force a rethink.

“We are looking at a number of options in light of this unjust decision, which includes going down the legal route,” said Palios. “What is wrong in our view is that clubs in League Two are being given a chance to earn promotion through the play-offs, but we haven’t been given the chance to try and stay up.”