Sunderland pursuit of Peterborough striker could see Bristol Rovers land major cash boost
The Black Cats want the Peterborough striker - and it could mean good news for Bristol Rovers in more than one way
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Sunderland are reportedly eyeing up a move for Peterborough United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, which could mean good news for Bristol Rovers. The Black Cats are on the hunt for a new striker in the January transfer window, and could land on the former Gas forward.
The Championship club are searching for a new striker after Ellis Simms was recalled by Premier League strugglers Everton. Simms had scored seven goals in 17 matches for the Wearside club, and it was a major blow for Tony Mowbray.
Scottish forward Ross Stewart's future is also up in the air with his contract due to expire at the end of next season. The 26-year-old has nine goals in 11 league matches, and is reportedly wanted by Middlesbrough, Rangers and Brentford. Sunderland however are in 'no rush' to sell' according to Mowbray, and that they were trying to entice him to sign a new contract.
Clarke-Harris is the joint top scorer in League One, and is tied with Bristol Rovers talisman Aaron Collins on 13 goals apiece, though the Welshman has also 10 assists, and has a better strike conversion rate. In the report, Peterborough are said to be 'reluctant' on losing Clarke-Harris, but that they would brace themselves for interest in their captain.
Sunderland’s reported interest in Clarke-Harris is good for Rovers in two ways, as it would weaken a play-off rival, should Joey Barton’s side maintain their push for a top-six spot. Rovers are just a point behind the Posh, though Grant McCann’s men do have a game in hand over them.
Another plus point is that there is an apparent sell-on-clause for Rovers, which means that more funds could be made available to Barton, in an otherwise difficult month for recruitment. Clarke-Harris joined Peterborough for a reported £2m in the summer of 2020, and
Since leaving Rovers for Peterborough two years ago, Clarke-Harris has scored 60 goals in 119 games for Peterborough, with 12 coming in the Championship last season. He still has two years left on his contract and Peterborough are in a good negotiating position when it comes to dealing with interested parties.