Exclusive: Ross County respond after Sunderland submit striker bid

Sunderland have had a £120,000 bid for Ross Stewart turned down by Ross County, Football Insider understands.

The 24-year-old striker is out of contract at the end of the season and the Black Cats have moved to try and take advantage ahead Monday’s transfer deadline.

However, a recruitment source has told Football Insider the League One outfit’s six-figure offer has been rejected as the Scottish Premiership side hold out for their £500,000 asking price.

Despite his contract situation, Ross County are not desperate to cash in on Stewart as they battle against the threat of relegation from Scotland’s top tier this season.

The versatile hitman, who has also operated as a winger and as a second striker, has been a mainstay for the Staggies this season, although he only has two league goals under his belt.

He was prolific in the club’s run to the Scottish League Cup semi-finals with four goals in five games, including in the 2-0 win over Glasgow giants Celtic.

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His goal-scoring record has been impacted by the fact he was pushed out wide by manager John Hughes earlier this season, while he has not featured since December as a result of an injury blow.

A former youth prospect at the likes of St Mirren and Celtic, Stewart has spent his whole professional career in Scotland and joined Ross County back in 2018.

He has netted nine times in 40 Premiership appearances for the Staggies, with a further three assists under his belt.

In other Sunderland news, Shrewsbury Town have won the race to sign a big-name Sunderland star.