Ross Stewart to Rangers: Sunderland hint at new deal to 'protect' 26-goal ace

Sunderland may look to “reward” Ross Stewart after a season where he fired the club to the Championship.

The former Ross County forward’s 26 goals has attracted interest from clubs in England as well as reported interest from Rangers.

Stewart joined Sunderland from the Staggies in January 2021, emerging as a key player for the Black Cats this campaign as they won promotion via the play-offs.

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The 25-year-old, who is under contract until 2023, hit 24 goals in the regular season, adding another two in the play-off, one in a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday and one in the final against Wycombe Wanderers.

Such form has brought about links to Sheffield United, QPR and a return to Scotland, while it also earned him a call-up to the national team. He could win his first cap in the upcoming World Cup play-off and Nations League matches.

Now Sunderland are keen to hold onto their star striker with sporting director Kristjaan Speakman hinting at a new deal as they look to “protect” their asset.

"Look, there are several who would be in that batch of players that we think have got contracts, but that we want to protect the club and create the right structure," he told the Chronicle.

"Ross has had an incredible season so for us, we're always trying to protect players like that who have performed so well and naturally, you want to try and reward players.

Ross Stewart has been linked with a move to Rangers after a fantastic season for Sunderland. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

"It gives inspiration to other people as well and you want to keep that cycle going. You want that culture at the club."

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