Striker James McFadden trains with Sunderland

FREE AGENT: James McFadden
FREE AGENT: James McFadden

SUNDERLAND have had Scotland striker James McFadden training at the Academy of Light.

The 29-year-old is out-of-contract after being released by Everton at the end of last season, which means the free agent could join the Wearsiders outside the window if Martin O’Neill decides to pursue an interest.

The Black Cats admitted last week that he had not ruled out bolstering his squad with further signings before the transfer window reopens in the New Year and McFadden, who is understood to have trained with Sunderland on Monday, is one potential option.

He began his career at Motherwell but it was at international level where he really caught the eye to earn himself him a £1.25m move to Everton in 2003.

McFadden made 139 appearances for the Toffeemen but almost half of them came from the bench.

He scored 18 goals in all competitions in five years before joining Birmingham City in a £4.75m deal in 2008 but suffered cruciate ligament damage which took a year out of his career and he left the club when his contract expired in 2011.

Wolves and Celtic were both interested in taking him but instead he chose to sign again for Everton last year on a short-term deal that expired this summer.

He made only eight appearances in his second spell at Goodison Park but is confident that he is still young enough and fit enough to do a job at Premier League level.