Sunderland owner Stewart Donald spoke on the Roker Rapport Podcast this week about the need to strengthen the core of our side with physical, experienced players.
He admitted that whilst we play some nice football, we aren’t very big and that could prove to be an problem if we head into the League One season without addressing the issue.
Donald also admitted that we’re interested in a number of free agents, and that we’ll have some trialists featuring in a red and white shirt during this weekend’s friendly with St Mirren.
Thus far none of the names of the free agent players have leaked out, and we may have to wait until tomorrow to find out who the trialists are that are being given a chance to impress up in Scotland, but it hasn’t deterred us from trying to dig around and find out who we’re talking to.
So we got chatting to a fella who supports Sheffield Wednesday, and he informed us that last night the wife of former Owls defender Glenn Loovens had followed Sunderland on all forms of social media - something she apparently also did ahead of the Dutchman’s arrival in South Yorkshire back in 2013.
We then had this checked out, and it does indeed appear that Loovens is in talks with Sunderland regarding a move to the club.
Having quickly perused the profile of Mrs Loovens it would appear that the couple are currently on a family holiday abroad somewhere, but it’s thought that he’ll return back to England over the weekend in order to hold talks with Sunderland’s recruitment team.
He’s something of a cult hero at both Sheffield Wednesday and Celtic and was captain of the Hillsbrough club for four seasons, but departed at the end of last season after deciding the time had come to move on to a new adventure.
The popular former Netherlands international scored the winner at St James’ Park against Newcastle during the 2016-17 season, but he fell out of favour once Jos Luhukay came in as manager and it became clear towards the end of the campaign that his time with Wednesday was up.
Whilst he’s not exactly a spring chicken, it’s certainly the type of signing that would make sense. Loovens is experienced, has leadership qualities and has never actually played at a level lower than the Championship - so I can’t imagine that too many Sunderland supporters would grumble if we did decide to pursue him.