By Kevin Phillips

13th May, 2020 | 5:10pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips tips Sunderland ace to leave amid pay cut fears

Kevin Phillips has warned Jon McLaughlin he will have to take a pay cut if he wants a new deal at Sunderland despite being one of the club’s star performers since arriving.

The 2000 European Golden Shoe winner, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the club may not be able to satisfy the 32-year-old’s wage demands in the current financial climate.

McLaughlin is out of contract this summer having joined the Black Cats on a two-year contract in July 2018.

The goalkeeper revealed to the Edinburgh Evening News that the decision was in the club’s hands as he would like to remain at the Stadium of Light.

Phillips suggested the Stewart Donald will not be able to offer the shot-stopper an improved contract with the club facing the season’s abandonment.

“He has done really well for Sunderland and if I am the manager there I would look to give him a new deal,” he told Football Insider.

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“But unfortunately, he might have to take a pay cut and I do not see the player wanting to take a cut.

“It is going to be tough to offer players more money than what they are on and as a player, if you sign a new deal, you either want the same or more. 

“There are other clubs sniffing around him. I wonder whether he is just saying the right things to keep people off his back.

“If I am the manager I would like to keep him because he will be so hard to replace if he goes because he has done some great things for them.”

McLaughlin has kept 11 clean sheets in his 32 League One appearances this season.

Duncan Watmore, Kyle Lafferty, Chris Maguire, Tommy Smith, Alim Ozturk, Tom Flannagan and Luke O’Nien are also out of contract this summer.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider Rick Parry’s comments are a “warning” to the EFL.