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Roker Roundup: Defender who rejected summer transfer move to Sunderland explains his decision

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A defender currently plying his trade in the Championship has explained why he turned down a move to Sunderland in the summer just gone.

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Championship defender on rejecting Sunderland offer

Sunderland made an offer for Blackpool defender Clark Robertson in the summer but for the free agent to opt to move to Championship side Rotherham United.

The centre-back has been discussing that decision ahead of the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United and says due to his age and international ambitions, he had to make a step up to the Championship after a few seasons in the lower leagues with the Tangerines:

It’s a big game, a local derby, it’s the games you want to play in, that’s why I signed for Rotherham, to play big games in the Championship and Saturday is one of them.

There was the offer from Sunderland, who are a big club, but when Rotherham came in for me I couldn’t say no because it was Championship football and I feel at 25 years old I have to be testing myself at the Championship if I want to get into the Scotland squad.

I have had to be patient at the start of the season but since I have come back I have done well. I definitely made the right decision to sign for Rotherham.

Everton v Rotherham United - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

McCarthy set for Ireland return?

Former Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy could be set for a return as Republic of Ireland manager, with the Yorkshireman expected in Dublin over the weekend to speak to the FAI.

Two further former Sunderland managers, Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane, left their positions this week and, according to RTE, McCarthy and Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny are front-runners for the role.

According to the report, the FAI are hoping to complete the recruitment process within a week, with Robbie Keane possibly being offered a role in the coaching set-up.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Gyan discusses failed City move

Asamoah Gyan signed for Sunderland from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes back in 2010 after a successful World Cup campaign with Ghana.

However the 33-year-old has revealed that he almost made a Premier League move two years previously while he was still at Udinese.

According to the striker, he had a contract waiting for him with Manchester City once the 2008 African Cup of Nations was over but due to a small injury he had going into the tournament, he required surgery once it was over and it put an end to his City move:

I had a little injury before CAN 2008, but I wanted to play because it was my first AFCON.

I had a contract from Manchester City before the tournament but lost it because I had a surgery after CAN 2008 that kept me out for six months.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Premier League
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Asamoah Gyan of Sunderland celebrates scoring to make it 2-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium on February 5, 2011 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

“I think he’s doing alright”

Near the end of Jack Rodwell’s time with Sunderland, the 27-year-old famously gave an interview where he stated that he believed he could still play for England in central defence.

So how is that target coming along for the player at Blackburn Rovers?

Rodwell has been involved in the last eight games for Rovers - three starts, three substitute appearances and two as an unused sub - and according to their manager Tony Mowbray, the one-time midfielder is ‘doing all right’.

I think he’s doing all right, I spoke to him, I think he has to learn centre half.

I’ve told him that’s generally where I see him moving forward, I think undoubtedly he can play in midfield.

Rodwell is a work in progress but what I would say is he’s a very humble young man, I like him a lot and I think he has fantastic attributes.

He’s fast, strong, comfortable with the ball on both feet and I’m hoping he enjoys his time here and I am sure that his talent will get him in the team moving forward.

Certain aspects he still has to learn. He has played much of his career in midfield and if we’re going to try and develop him into hopefully a top class central defender then it’s going to take some time.

He has to play to do that. He’s very humble and honest and we enjoy working with him.

Swansea City v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images