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Roker Roundup: International defender departs Sunderland - and another could be off to Celtic

An international defender has left Sunderland after an unsuccessful stay, whilst reports in Costa Rica claim that Bryan Oviedo could be off to Celtic.

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International defender departs

Development squad defender Sam Brotherton has left Sunderland to join USL side North Carolina FC on a permanent deal.

The 22-year-old is a full New Zealand international but was never close to the first team at Sunderland since joining the club in January 2017.

He was loaned out to Blyth Spartans at the beginning of the season but struggled to make an impact due to injury.

North Carolina’s head coach Dave Sarachan was glad to add Brotherton to his squad ahead of the new season:

Sam is an experienced international center back and will be an important piece to our back line defending.

Sam is excellent in the air and comfortable in distribution. More importantly he has the ability to organize and lead a backline. I look forward to having Sam play an important role for us this season.

The signing is pending league and federation approval, and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa.

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier - New Zealand v Solomon Islands Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Celtic interest in Oviedo

There have been rumours that Bryan Oviedo may leave Sunderland before the transfer window closes should the club receive a suitable offer.

Keith Downie of Sky Sports - who appeared on the Roker Rapport podcast this week, which you can listen to HERE - said that the Costa Rican international was attracting interest from three overseas clubs and one in the Championship:

According to a report in his homeland, the front-runners for Oviedo’s signature are actually Scottish Premiership champions Celtic.

The left-back is one of Sunderland’s highest earners but he has lost his place in the first team to Reece James and with Denver Hume recently returning to training, a departure seems likely.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images

Reported target signs new deal

Sunderland were reportedly interested in young Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season.

As well as Sunderland, Southampton and Swansea had registered their interest in the 19-year-old with fears at the Scottish club that he may sign a pre-contract agreement that would see him move on in the summer.

That will not happen now as Turnbull has signed a new deal that will see him remain at Fir Park until 2021 and Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson was delighted to see the midfielder turn down a move elsewhere to commit his future to the club:

We’re delighted David has agreed to extend his contract.

It’s to his credit that he has rejected the possibility of a more to a bigger or so-called more lucrative club in favour of continuing his development here, playing first team football.

He’s made a brilliant start to his Motherwell career, but he also knows that he can get even better if he continues to work hard and continues to learn.

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