Notts County boss confirms Sunderland talks
Sunderland’s non-executive director Tom Sloanes spoke last week about the possibility of the club sending some of it’s under-23 players to National League side Notts County.
Now the Magpies manager Neal Ardley has confirmed that discussions between the clubs have taken place, but was at pains to point out that it would not be a feeder club situation.
Speaking in the Nottingham Post, Ardley explained that his club have looked at some of the younger players at Sunderland before and believes Notts County is a good place for potential loanees to learn:
As always in football, these things can get blown up out or proportion, but we are always looking to network.
You never know, there might be a really good player somewhere who you really want and I am sure Sunderland have a few in their ranks.
A conversation has happened but it is not something that would lead us to become Sunderland’s B team.
The discussions was more about were there any players we would run our eye over and see whether they would suit us.
We’ve said we will look at their good young players. I think we are a big club, with a good fan base, it’s intense place to come and play so I think they would learn a lot by coming here.
But that could be any club we end up having talks with such as West Brom for example.
I wouldn’t blow it out of proportion, but at the same time I won’t say we will never ever sign a player from Sunderland because there are a few we’ve looked at before.
Academy products in demand
Two players who have spent time at the Academy of Light are in demand, if news reports are to be believed.
John Egan was released by Sunderland back in 2014 without making a first team appearance but since that disappointment has worked his way back up the league and is now an integral part of the season’s surprise package Sheffield United.
That has led to the Sun suggesting that both Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in the £30m rated Irish international, although the Blades are hoping to ward off that interest by offering Egan a bumper contract offer.
Meanwhile, young Hartlepool United goalkeeper Brad Young is interesting Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, according to the Sun.
The 17-year-old, like Egan, was released by Sunderland but is now an England youth goalkeeper and Frank Lampard’s side are said to be leading the chase for his signature.
Man Utd star praises former Sunderland duo
Manchester United’s Scott McTominay is set to return from injury soon and during an interview on the club’s official website, the Scotland international praised two former members of Sunderland’s backroom staff for helping get back to fitness.
Former Sunderland physio Dave Binningsley and the club’s former strength and conditioning coach Michael Clegg were both made redundant following Stewart Donald’s takeover of the club and, following their released, were both snapped up by United.
Speaking while at United’s winter training camp in Marbella, McTominay made sure to give credit to Binningsley and Clegg for helping his rehabilitation from the first injury of his senior career:
Yeah, I have been working with Dave - or Binners, as we call him - and he has been top drawer. He has been anything that I have needed. He has just got me out of the house and stuff like that. Anything that I have ever wanted, he has been there and obviously through my recovery he has been an absolute blessing. He has been top drawer.
All of the other physios, masseurs and the fitness coaches - Mike Clegg, Charlie as well - and obviously the manager and coaching staff as well. They have all helped me a lot. They have been there when it has been not so easy, when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps because you can’t play.
But that is football. You have to be mentally strong, I feel like I am, and hopefully it will be nice to get some minutes, or a lot of game time, towards the end of the season.