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ROKER ROUNDUP: Scout who found Asoro & Kimpioka for Sunderland joins up with Manchester United

The man who found Joel Asoro and Benji Kimpioka for Sunderland has joined the scouting team at Manchester United.

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Transfer news

Jack Ross confirmed his interest in Celtic’s Ryan Christie last week, with the Sunderland manager admitting after the 4-1 win against Gillingham that Christie being left footed would bring balance to the current squad:

Ryan is a player that I like, he has good qualities but again it is a balance between what we need in the squad.

He is a left footer and we don’t have a lot of them in the squad in forward areas.

He is a player that I am acutely aware of and he fits the kind of bracket in terms of he has played a lot of games for a young man.

At the moment we are where we are and I don’t envisage anything changing quickly.

News emerged yesterday that we will face competition for the 23-year-old from League One rivals Barnsley, as both sides look to sign the attacking midfielder on loan with a view to a permanent move.

Christie is out of contract at Parkhead next summer but came on as a late substitute yesterday as Celtic won 1-0 at home to Hamilton Academical.

Mexico v Scotland - International Friendly Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

We have also been linked with a move for Swindon Town midfielder Michael Doughty, as journalist Pete O’Rourke claims Sunderland, Brentford and Hull City are chasing the chasing the 25-year-old.

Doughty is a left-footed midfielder who has already racked up five goals and two assists in League Two this season - although four of those goals have come from the penalty spot.

He only signed a two-year deal for Swindon in the summer after leaving Peterborough United on a free transfer.

Eastleigh FC v Swindon Town - The Emirates FA Cup First Round Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Hansen joins Manchester United

FC Copenhagen scout Bjarne Hansen has left the Danish club to take up a position for Manchester United.

The Scandinavian has worked with Sunderland in the past and was behind the signings of Swedish pair Joel Asoro - who has since joined Swansea City - and Benji Kimpioka and he says he’s delighted to get a job with the Red Devils:

It’s a huge club and it will be a great challenge for me. I had some really good years in Chelsea, and I have also been with Sunderland, Hamburger SV, PSV and FC Copenhagen, but Manchester United is of course something special.

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images,

Reid discusses difficult few years

Former Sunderland midfielder Andy Reid was forced to retire a couple of years ago due to injury and then ex-Irish international was beset by tragedy in his personal life.

Reid has given an interview with about how difficult it has been for him the last two years and in the interview he discusses the lengths he went to to prolong his playing career and how hard it’s been to adjust:

I had operations – about five of them – to try and get it better.

I got to between 65% – 70% but I couldn’t get that final bit I needed to make it back to first-team level. My groin just wasn’t up to it. I tried everything, even going to America to have a final operation.

The surgeon said to me, ‘Look, if this doesn’t work you’re going to have to retire’. And it was tough. It’s a tough thing to take – being told you can’t do the thing you’ve done every day since you were 14.

It’s really difficult but it’s part of life. You’ve got to move on. It’s not a nice thing, not by any stretch of the imagination. But plenty of players have to go through it and you have to find a way of dealing with it.

That’s not the only difficult Reid has faced in recent years, with the death of his mother Dinah last summer and then his father passing away earlier this summer:

It’s been a tough couple of years for me. Having to retire – walking away from what’s been my life, something I’d done day-in, day-out since I was in my mid-teens – and then I lost my Mum and then my Dad and it’s been tough.

I still have really, really bad days now. It’s hard to get your head around it and you miss them every day. But I have my own family now and I have to look after them and provide for them and be the best man I can be for them, like my parents were for me.

There’s no brave, stiff upper lip. There are days when I cry. And I’m not ashamed of it.

Unfortunately, in-between the sad passing of his parents, Reid’s close friend and former Sunderland and Ireland team-mate Liam Miller lost his battle with cancer:

With Liam…it’s really, really hard to put into words.

Before he passed, the first thing that happened to our group of players that really affected us was probably Noel O’Reilly. He was such a massive part of that squad and such a massive part of the lads who got into the senior squad with Brian as well.

He was a great guy and a real mentor to a lot of us. His death really, really affected us and I know it affected Brian as well.

But with Liam, we have a group chat going with the lads and when it all happened there was just disbelief. Everyone was like, ‘This has happened to one of us’. It was so difficult to fathom.

I played with him at Sunderland and at every level with Ireland. Three young kids and a wife…It’s just a complete and utter tragedy. So, so sad. And it’s hard to comprehend and get your head around it.

You do tend to lose sight and worry about the small things.

I’ve got a young family myself – a one-year-old, a six-year-old and a grown-up daughter who’s 19 now. You don’t like to think about this kind of stuff but it could just as easily have been me.

It’s such a shame, the whole thing and you can say it’s sad and how terrible it is but that’s not really doing it justice.

Miller has a tribute match in Ireland at the Pairc Uí Chaoimh on September 25 and Reid says he’s looking forward to what will be an emotional day.

I found Liam very, very witty but very dry. There was a real Cork sense of humour with him. Liam was a typical Cork person and extremely funny. But people who didn’t really know him particularly well wouldn’t have seen that side of him.

There’s a sense of excitement about the tribute match, certainly going by the ticket sales. And I think there’s a sense of wanting to celebrate Liam’s life as much as commemorate it. To try and put on a good show.

It’s going to be an emotional day for everybody, none more so than his family and close friends. But I think everyone wants to do their best by Liam.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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