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Sunderland are now battling interest from Cardiff City and Ipswich Town over the loan transfer of the talented Luton Town attacker John McAtee, HITC Football understands.


The attacking midfielder, who can also play as a striker, has enjoyed a superb first half of the season on loan at Barnsley.


He has scored nine goals and assisted a further three through 22 appearances across all competitions. But Luton want to see McAtee playing at a higher level.



Six of his goals and all three of McAtee’s assists have come through 19 League One matches for 1,040 minutes.


But a clutch of Championship clubs are now showing an interest in giving the brother of Manchester City talent James McAtee a chance to experience the second-tier.









Sunderland fight Championship interest for John McAtee’s transfer

HITC Football understands that Luton talent McAtee has earnt interest from Cardiff, Ipswich, Plymouth Argyle and Sunderland.


The Championship clubs are all now battling to seal a deal with the Hatters. It would mark McAtee’s first time playing in the English second-tier to date.



Sources have also confirmed to HITC Football that Luton are ready to cut McAtee’s loan with Barnsley short to get the 24-year-old in a higher level.


He has so far only played in Leagues One and Two. McAtee was an unused substitute in his one Premier League involvement yet.


John McAtee was only playing in the National League in 2021/22









McAtee was only just recently playing National League football in the 2021/22 campaign for Grimsby Town. His form that season with 16 goals over 39 non-league appearances led to a move to Luton.


But Grimsby kept the attacker on loan over the 2022/23 League Two season.


Four goals and four assists in 26 fourth-tier appearances then proved enough for Barnsley to take McAtee on loan. Now, his form in League One so far this season has Sunderland and an array of Championship clubs clambering for McAtee’s loan transfer from Luton this January.



Barnsley boss Neill Collins also praised McAtee in December after helping the Tykes to come from behind and beat Stevenage.


They trailed 1-0 after just four minutes but McAtee hit the equaliser on 32 minutes. Herbie Kane then sealed a 2-1 win at Oakwell in the 70th minute.


“It was a fantastic goal,” Collins told the Barnsley Chronicle.


“He ran in behind like we asked him to do. It was similar to Callum Styles at Northampton. John has been excellent.”


McAtee made a smart burst in behind the Stevenage defence and controlled Callum Styles’ pass over the top. He then lobbed goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond from the edge of the box.


Ashby-Hammond also had to rush out to deny McAtee a second just two minutes later.


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