Sunderland boss Michael Beale has claimed that he is not aware of any direct enquiries for West Ham and Crystal Palace target Jack Clarke, but insisted that he wants to keep the winger at the Stadium of Light.


The former Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur winger has been a revelation for Sunderland this season, scoring 12 times in 26 Championship appearances.


His performances in the second tier have piqued the interest of several Premier League teams this month and Sunderland are facing the real threat of losing him in the middle of the season.




West Ham, Crystal Palace and Brentford have their eyes on him and Beale admitted that given his numbers this season he is not surprised to see the winger attracting attention from the top-tier clubs.


However, he insisted that for the moment he is not aware of any club making a formal enquiry with Sunderland for Clarke.



The Sunderland boss stressed that he is keen to hold on to the winger beyond the end of the transfer window.


Beale said in a press conference when asked about the growing interest in Clarke: “When you are doing what he is doing every week at the top end of the Championship there’s going to be speculation.



“I want that for my players — I want them to thrive.


“I’ve not heard of any enquiries come directly into the club for him, and I’d be lying if I said they would be welcome.


“We want Jack here playing for a strong Sunderland team and trying to see out what we are trying to do this season.


“I’ve been super impressed by him.”


It remains to be seen whether Sunderland can convince the player to resist the temptation of returning to the Premier League this month.