Sunderland to open talks with ex-Everton forward McFadden

James McFadden
James McFadden

SUNDERLAND will look to open talks with former Everton attacker James McFadden this week after the Scot impressed on trial at the Academy of Light.

The 29-year-old free agent was at the Stadium of Light on Saturday to watch Sunderland beat Wigan after a fortnight training with Martin O’Neill’s men.

Sunderland boss O’Neill revealed that after days of good work on the training ground, the Wearsiders are prepared to talk to a player who is equally comfortable up front or in midfield.

The Sunderland manager said: “We’ll see how it goes but he has done well and we’ll talk.”

The Black Cats are likely to offer McFadden a short-term deal after becoming convinced he would be an ideal squad man for the long season ahead.

Sunderland are not blessed with an abundance of numbers after registering just 21 out of a possible 25 senior players with the Premier League, following the end of the summer’s transfer window.

And McFadden offers an experienced option for O’Neill after appearing 168 times in the top flight and 48 times for Scotland during his career.

McFadden was released by Everton in the summer after his second spell at Goodison Park lasted a solitary season, with just seven league appearances for the Toffees.

But the campaign at least allowed McFadden the chance to prove his fitness after the conclusion of his career at Birmingham City was blighted by cruciate knee ligament damage.

The Scotland international spent the summer training with boyhood club Motherwell and the SPL side offered him a contract to return to Fir Park. But McFadden rejected the opportunity, preferring to remain in England, with Championship duo Hull and Huddersfield both keeping tabs on the frontman.

O’Neill, who was close to signing McFadden when manager of Celtic, leaped to the front of the queue by offering him a chance to train at the Academy of Light and he could now follow Louis Saha and Carlos Cuellar by becoming the third Bosman arrival on Wearside this season.