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TransferWipe: Sunderland defender set to sign for top-flight Norwegian side on loan

Sunderland U23s defender Michael Ledger is set to join Norwegian top flight side Viking FK on a loan deal until the summer.

Sunderland v Everton: Premier League 2 Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Ledger travelled to Norway from the North East yesterday, and having taken part in training with the club today he will remain at Viking for the remainder of this week before the Eliteserien club make a decision on whether or not they wish to proceed with the move.

The 19-year old centre half - who has featured on the bench for David Moyes' senior side on a number of occasions already this season - will return back to Wearside after a couple of days training in order to take part in next Wednesday's important U23s Premier League international cup clash with Athletic Bilbao.

He is then expected to fly back out to Norway in order to join up with Viking as part of their first team squad, with the promise of regular first team football in a competitive league on offer.

Michael Ledger trains with Viking FK today ahead of a proposed loan move to the Norwegian club until the summer.

Ledger, speaking to RA Dagsavisen, said that he was looking forward to the move as it will enable him to play first team football:

I heard about the interest a week ago and was never in any doubt about what I wanted. Here I have the chance to play first-team football - I think a loan will be a very good idea.

And when quizzed about his first impressions of the club, he said:

It's better than I expected! The stadium was great - not unlike Sunderland - and all the facilities look great.

Ledger was also asked about his status at Sunderland, and admitted that whilst he would prefer to stay at Sunderland when his contract expires in the summer, he is keeping his options open:

My deal with Sunderland runs out in the summer. Sunderland is my club and I'd rather stay there, but I'm keeping all options open. You never know what might happen in football and it's nice to have choices.

The current head coach of Viking FK, Leicester-born Ian Burchnall, was quizzed on the status of Ledger and revealed more details about the proposed move.

Speaking yesterday about the deal, the 33-year old Viking gaffer said:

I spoke with Sunderland late yesterday (Monday). He comes here this afternoon (Tuesday) and train with us tomorrow (today, the 8th of February). We want to see Michael in training to be safe.

They (Sunderland) face Athletic Bilbao's U23 team in an important match next week, but now they have given us permission to look at him and possibly start a process for loans.

He has sat on the bench for their first team - as such, he is not a million miles away, but in the situation that Sunderland find themselves in now, they will hardly take many chances (on young players).

And having seen the defender in training today, Burchnall noted:

It's always hard to judge someone based on training, but we did definitely see some glimpses of what he can do. He is good with the ball and talks a lot - although it's not easy when you do not know the names of the others.

Providing Burchnall is suitably impressed with what he has seen from Ledger, a deal which sees the defender move to Norway until the summer is expected to be concluded within the next week.

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