By Kevin Phillips

21st Jun, 2021 | 5:00pm

Sunderland may sign Phillips 2.0 to replace Wyke after update - pundit

Kevin Phillips has claimed Sunderland manager Lee Johnson “needs to come up with a masterplan” to replace Charlie Wyke’s goals next season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend suggested the club may choose to sign a striker of a similar profile to himself if Wyke, 28, leaves.

Wyke is out of contract at the end of this month and looks likely to depart as a free agent despite the club wanting him stay.

Football Insider revealed on 16 June Celtic are stepping up their pursuit of the centre-forward and were set to offer him a long-term contract.

The Black Cats strengthened their front line with the addition of Ross Stewart in January but another striker arrival would be expected if Wyke departs Wearside.

When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs what kind of striker Sunderland should target, Phillips said: “That is the million dollar question.

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“Lee Johnson likes to get the ball down and play but he also showed last season that he can adapt.

“At times Sunderland went back to front early with long balls and got it wide to the likes of McGeady to get crosses in for Wyke.

“Does he go down that route again? They have tried everything and it hasn’t really paid off.

“Lee Johnson needs to come up with a masterplan this season and perhaps he will go for a diminutive striker who’s a natural finisher, someone similar to myself, and play through the lines.

“The other option if going for another big guy like Wyke. In an ideal world you would have both.”

In other news, Phillips delivers verdict on Sunderland signing Championship ace as player stance reported.