According to TEAMTalk - who have a reputable history when it comes to providing Sunderland news - new manager Jack Ross is keen on bringing Grant Leadbitter back to the club after he was made surplus to requirements by Tony Pulis ahead of next season.
The 32-year old midfielder, who was a key component as part of Roy Keane’s Championship promotion squad during the 2006/7 season, has been a regular on Teesside since arriving there in 2012 from Ipswich, but has apparently been told he’s no longer needed and is welcome to find himself a new club.
The TEAMTalk report claims there is significant interest in him from other Championship clubs, but that the opportunity to return back to his boyhood club for what are likely to be the final years of his career could well swing his decision.
The article also concedes that whilst Boro are happy to let him leave, they’ll only request a nominal fee for his services and may even cover the cost of some of his wages in order to facilitate the move.
It was speculated that Leadbitter’s Boro deal had ran out at the end of this season, but Northern Echo reporter Paul Fraser confirmed yesterday that he had indeed signed a new contract with the Teessiders last season but that it just wasn’t announced or reported on at the time.
Grant signed a new contract at Boro, it just wasn’t announced at the time. I wrote it a couple of months ago.— Paul Fraser (@paulfraserecho) May 30, 2018
Still fresh in my memory is Leadbitter’s performance for Boro back in February at the Stadium of Light, in which he completely dominated the middle of the park and bagged himself a goal from the penalty spot in the process - putting to bed any doubts that he’s still got it in him.
Should the club move to bring him back to Sunderland, I suspect that supporters would greet the news with adulation, and an appreciation that we’re keen on getting people who know the club back on board and involved ahead of what will undoubtedly be a tough and testing season for Jack Ross and his squad.