Sunderland prospect commits future to Black Cats despite Manchester United interest

Sunderland prospect Chris Rigg has decided to commit his future to the Black Cats, despite attracting attention from an array of clubs including Manchester United and Newcastle.

Rigg, 17, believes Sunderland is the best place for him to develop as a footballer after signing a three-year deal to remain at the Stadium of Light. It is his first professional contract.

The midfielder debuted when he was just 15 and Sunderland fans will be happy to know they’ve got him for at least one more year.

Rigg is set to play a leading role for new head coach Regis Le Bris this season, and he isn’t ready for regular football at a club like United just yet. Another season in the Championship will do him the world of good.

Speaking about his decision to put pen to paper with Sunderland, Rigg told club media: “The club means absolutely everything to me. Every time I put this bagde on, whether it’s in training or in a game, I’ll give my absolute all.

“I am absolutely buzzing, to be honest. It is a proud moment for myself and my family to be signing my first professional contract at a club like Sunderland.

“I have been dying to sign it for almost a year now. I want to develop as a player and improve as a person – and I believe this is the best place for me to do that.

“All the staff have been unbelievable with me throughout my journey at the Academy of Light, but there are still so many improvements I can make. The hard work starts now, but I am looking forward to making many more memories representing this club.”

Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman added: “I’m delighted for Chris, who has always communicated to us that Sunderland is where he wants to be.

“Everyone is aware of how difficult it can be to retain top talent in today’s climate, and this would not have been possible without great people.

“Robin Nicholls and our Academy staff undertake excellent work and I’m pleased for them all that another Academy graduate has committed their future to the club.

“Chris’ talent, and more recently his performances within the first team, made interest and speculation inevitable, and it is a testament to all behind the scenes that he has committed his future to our club.”

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