SUNDERLAND are holding discussions with Max Clayton’s representatives as they weigh up whether to sign the trialist on a permanent deal.
Out-of-contract Crewe striker Clayton spent the first three weeks of pre-season training with Sunderland, as he looked to earn a move to the Premier League.
The 19-year-old’s time with Gus Poyet’s men came to an end prior to Sunderland’s 10-day stint in Portugal and he has not travelled to the Algarve.
Sunderland are now in talks with Clayton’s agent and will look at the terms of a potential move before deciding their next step.
“He did well and we are talking to him and his agent,” said Poyet, who handed Clayton starts against both Darlington 1883 and Hartlepool.
“I like to put everything on the table - for any player.
“The qualities we are looking for, the money - there are so many things that need to come together.
“He looked good in his time with us, and of course he is still learning.
“He has been playing another style of football (at Crewe) when he had the freedom to stay up the pitch, but when he was with us he was playing wide on the left and he has to learn the responsibilities to track back.
“But he is young, and I am sure he can do that.”
Sunderland will also need to agree a compensation package with Clayton, due to his age.
Crewe are thought to be looking for an initial £500,000 payment - plus add-ons - for the England Under-19 international.
“The Max one is very difficult for me to talk about at the moment as I’m not too sure of the situation,” Crewe boss Steve Davis today.
“As far as I know they are still negotiating with Sunderland so that’s as much as I can say at the moment.”