Sunderland’s Liam Agnew set to join Bradford City on two-year deal

Sunderland's Liam Agnew.
Sunderland's Liam Agnew.
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Sunderland Under-21s skipper Liam Agnew is expected to join League One Bradford City on a two-year deal this summer.

Agnew has spent two week-long trial spells at Bradford over the last month after Sunderland gave the go-ahead for the midfielder to try to earn a move to Valley Parade.

It is understood that Agnew has impressed Bradford boss Phil Parkinson and there have been advanced talks over the academy product joining the Bantams on a two-year deal when his Sunderland contract expires this summer.

Agnew has made just one first-team appearance for Sunderland – as a late substitute in last season’s FA Cup fourth round win at Fulham – and at 21, he would need to be registered in the first-team squad next year if the Black Cats opted to keep him at the Stadium of Light.

But it is thought that Agnew is one of the players in the U21 squad who has been told that he can find another club when his contract expires in the summer.

Midfielder George Honeyman and striker Mikael Mandron are also likely departures, as is Martin Smith, who joined Carlisle on loan until the end of the season earlier this month.

Among those players, only Mandron has been on the bench under Allardyce’s tenure.

However, with ex-U21 boss Robbie Stockdale on his coaching staff, Allardyce has been proactive in promoting the club’s homegrown talent during his five month reign after handing first Premier League starts to both Duncan Watmore and Jordan Pickford.

Centre-half Tom Beadling and left-back Tommy Robson have trained regularly with the first-team, with both regularly travelling with the rest of Sam Allardyce’s squad to away games.

And winger Rees Greenwood and midfielder Ethan Robson have also been involved on the training field with the first-team.

Greenwood – the stand-out player for the U21s since the turn of the year – has made his debut for England Under-20s during this international break after featuring in two friendlies against Canada.

Robson, meanwhile, is understood to be in advanced talks over agreeing a new contract at the Stadium of Light.