SUNDERLAND’S Jack Colback has emerged as a potential transfer target for Newcastle United.
The midfielder will be out of contract and available on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Sunderland are keen to keep the long-serving Tynesider on Wearside.
And head coach Gus Poyet insisted in February that contract talks, complicated by the relegation-threatened club’s plight, were ongoing with the 24-year-old.
However, a deal hasn’t been reached, and Colback, surprisingly, was an unused substitute for the club’s last two games.
The Killingworth-born player was outstanding in Sunderland’s two derby wins over Newcastle this season.
Colback scored in United’s 3-0 Tyne-Wear defeat at St James’s Park in February.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew – who lost Yohan Cabaye in January – is looking to strengthen his midfield options in the summer.
And a move for versatile Colback would allow the club’s transfer “kitty” to be spent elsewhere.
Pardew’s priority is to sign two strikers and an attacking midfielder.