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Aiden McGeady rumoured to be Simon Grayson's first signing for Sunderland; is he any good?

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Everton winger Aiden McGeady is said to be on the verge of talks with Sunderland about becoming Simon Grayson's first signing. But is he any good?

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland - International Friendly Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Reports this morning suggest new Sunderland boss Simon Grayson is confident of concluding a deal to sign Aiden McGeady in time for Friday's pre-season friendly against Bury.

The Northern Echo claim Sunderland supremo Martin Bain has already spoken to Everton officials and north east journalist for The Sun, Alan Nixon, this morning suggested the Black Cats' chief executive will fly back from the club's pre-season camp in Austria early today to conclude a deal.

McGeady spent last season on loan at Preston and is now back with Everton. The 31-year-old doesn't feature in Ronald Koeman's long-term plans but his success at Deepdale last season means the Goodison outfit are keen to shift him on for a fee while suitors are lined up to bid this summer.

Newcastle United v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
McGeady battling Newcastle's Christian Atsu last season
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland international has also wanted back at Preston who remain keen to sign him permanently and has attracted interest from Middlesbrough.

Rumours suggest Everton are expecting to make a profit on selling McGeady. A fee of up to £4.5m has been mooted for the winger who was signed for a nominal sum in 2014 from Spartak Moscow. Reports suggest Sunderland value him at nearer £2m.

McGeady made his name in a six-year spell with Celtic, making over 180 appearances for the Glasgow giants, scoring 31 goals.

At the time he moved to Russia, McGeady became the most expensive export from Scotland with a fee paid of £9.5m. His Spartak career dwindled after a disciplinary episode in December 2013. A month later he had signed for Everton for a figure thought to be around £500,000.

McGeady has only featured 32 times for Everton, his last league appearance for the Tofees coming two years ago capped with an assist against West Ham. But he was a success at Preston last season with 8 goals in 34 appearances.

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League
McGeady at the Stadium of Light with Everton in 2014
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Two-footed, the veteran of 90 caps for the Republic of Ireland equally turned out on the right and on the left wing for Preston last season with occasional flits in the middle or playing off the striker.

The Championship is likely his level and the Premier League was probably a step too far for McGeady. A shrewd operator in football below the English top-tier, he produced his best stuff for a few years under Simon Grayson last term.

McGeady burst into Scottish football as a youngster and had trials with Arsenal and Manchester United before opting to join Celtic. In truth, he didn't become the player he could have been and his best years were in Glasgow. But he made his money in Russia and has investments in property and a restaurant business.

FC Dinamo Moscow v FC Spartak Moscow - Russian Premier League
McGeady playing for Spartak Moscow in 2013
Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images

After his stalled spell at Goodison, the winger still made Martin O'Neill's Euro 2016 squad and he will be on the plane to Russia next year assuming the Republic of Ireland qualify for the World Cup finals.

McGeady will be linking up with his Eire captain John O'Shea at the Stadium of Light as well as former Everton teammates Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson.

Sunderland may be something of a second-tier swansong for McGeady but he has several good years left in him and plenty to offer.

This is the reality of Championship football after all - the necessity to sign players who can put in performances week after week with end-product and endeavour. McGeady fits that bill nicely.