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REPORT: Niall Quinn ‘in talks with Irish businessman’ to buy Sunderland from owner Ellis Short

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You read that right - could Sunderland legend Niall Quinn be set for an emotional return to Wearside?

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An article posted by the Sun this evening claims that Niall Quinn is involved in talks that could potentially lead to a sale of Sunderland to an as yet unnamed Irish businessman.

The piece - which you can read here - gives very little detail on what sort of involvement the former Sunderland striker, chairman and manager would have should the purchase go through, and also concedes that despite attempting to track down Quinn for comment this past weekend he wasn’t available to do so.

It’s an intriguing bit of speculation, one that will no doubt get tongues wagging over the course of the next few days as the club’s immediate future very much hangs in the balance.

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With Ellis Short disinterested and based thousands of miles away the club has pretty much been left to ruin, and bar the bare minimum of effort of the American’s part - i.e. signing cheques to make sure that bills get paid - his involvement these days is very much nil, with CEO Martin Bain instead left to run the show.

There had been speculation on Twitter late last week that there was something going on behind the scenes on the ownership front, with some analysis of comments made by Chris Coleman proving inconclusive as the Sunderland manager has on more than one occasion suggested that he’s very much planning for life this summer with a new owner potentially in place.

The majority of Sunderland supporters still very much hold Quinn in the highest regard following his previous stint in charge at the football club, and for many of us he’s seen as something of a saviour having put together the Drumaville consortium - a group of wealthy (and mostly Irish) businessmen - who purchased the club from Sir Bob Murray in 2006 following our relegation from the Premier League.

After a shaky start to life as chairman, Quinn quickly redeemed himself with the left-field appointment of Roy Keane, who steered Sunderland back to the top flight as champions at the first time of asking.

Following the crash of the Irish economy Drumaville were forced to sell up, and in came Ellis Short - the Irish-American Billionaire whom was wooed by Quinn following several months of talks between Sunderland and the founder of Kildare Partners, a London-based private equity fund that invests in distressed European real estate assets.

Following a dispute between the two, Quinn left the club abruptly in 2012 and it would be fair to say that things just haven’t quite been the same on Wearside since. If there’s even a grain of truth in this news today it’ll undoubtedly inspire the fanbase into thinking that better times are indeed around the corner for Sunderland AFC.