Sky Sports’ Tom White has rubbished claims that Sunderland’s attempts to sign Josh Key were simply done to ‘appease the fans’.
However, as referenced by White, a number of the club’s supporters supposedly doubted the interest and suspected it to be some kind of ‘conspiracy’ to ‘appease’ them, as Sunderland had not made a signing at that stage of the summer.
While talking on the Roker Rapport podcast, White stated that he knew the attempts to sign Key were in fact entirely genuine.
He explained: “A few weeks ago, there was a lot of talk about an Exeter right-back called Josh Key, who we had a few bids rejected for. And I saw a few conspiracy theories going around saying that the club had leaked that information to try and appease the fans because we hadn’t signed anyone at that stage.
“Well, I can assure you that story is absolutely true. We’ve been in for this Josh Key from Exeter all summer and haven’t been able to get him.
“I don’t know if that deal is now off now that we’ve signed [Niall] Huggins, but we were absolutely in for him and willing to spend quite a bit of money on him.
“So just in case there was anyone out there who thought that was planted by the club, the club have been silent with the local and national media all summer. So that story was not leaked from the club, because I know where it came from myself.”
TIF Thoughts on Josh Key and Sunderland…
However, as White alluded to, the League One club have now signed Niall Huggins from Leeds on a permanent basis.
This deal could well put an end to the Black Cats’ interest in Key, but with Sunderland pushing for promotion back into the Championship, they may well want to bring in as much quality as possible this summer.
So, if their interest really was genuine, perhaps this deal is not quite over just yet.