Sunderland AFC news: Defender's fitness boost, host of suitors for loan moves

John O'Shea
John O'Shea

Sunderland skipper John O'Shea could play a part in the Republic of Ireland's bid to reach Euro 2016 tonight.

O'Shea has missed Sunderland's last two games due to a hamstring injury, which was expected to keep him out of the second leg of Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia.

But the 34-year-old has returned to training and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill is expected to make a late decision on whether to include the centre-half for the game in Dublin tonight.

O'Shea is one of three Sunderland players bidding to seal a place in the summer's tournament over the next 36 hours, with Seb Larsson and Ola Toivonen both in the Sweden squad for the second leg of their play-off against neighbours Denmark tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Leeds United remain eager to complete a loan deal for Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt - a fortnight after first approaching the Black Cats.

Reading and Cardiff are also interested in Bridcutt, but the 26-year-old - who has not featured for Sunderland's first-team this season - wants to move to Elland Road.

Bridcutt is not the only Sunderland player in demand for a loan move, with Under-21 coach Andy Welsh revealing today the interest in some of the club's youngsters.

Lynden Gooch, Liam Agnew and Tommy Robson are all wanted men after striker Mikael Mandron joined Hartlepool on loan last week.