MARTIN O’Neill admits Michael Turner’s contract situation has prompted Sunderland to offload the central defender.
Sunderland manager O’Neill is still awaiting the outcome of discussions between Turner and Norwich City after the Black Cats agreed a fee with the Canaries for the sale of the central defender.
Turner has less than a year remaining on his Sunderland contract and despite the former Hull City man starting the final 20 games of last season, O’Neill has confirmed that the 28-year-old was not going to be offered a new deal to remain on Wearside.
And with Sunderland boasting another five central defenders, plus youngsters Louis Laing and John Egan, O’Neill believes the deal is a good one for both the Black Cats and Turner.
O’Neill told SportMail: ““We have a number of centre-halves.
““Since Michael came into the side under me, he’s stayed in the team. But at the moment, I was unable to offer him an extension to his contract.
“”Norwich came in with the promise of some extra years and it’s something he wanted to look at.
“”But if things don’t develop, then he’s welcome back because he did as well as anyone in the last couple of months of the season.”
SEE Friday’s Mail for full story