Sunderland are still embroiled in takeover talks but that hasn’t prevented them stepping up an interest in Conor McLaughlin, according to journalist Alan Nixon.
The Northern Ireland international is a free agent after being released by Millwall this summer, and he could become Sunderland’s first signing of the window.
The right-back only featured 11 times in all competitions for The Lions last season, but prior to his spell at The Den he was one of the best defenders in League One at Fleetwood, even scoring five goals as they reached the play-offs in 2016/17.
It is a positive development for Sunderland fans who were in need of good news following Donald Stewart’s admission that takeover talks have stalled.
McLaughlin has 34 caps and would provide the Sunderland backline with experience and know-how. The Black Cats are in need of a right-back too, with Luke O’Nien filling in during the latter part of last season at right wing-back.
This is a solid move from Sunderland, McLaughlin is a very reliable player and he should serve them well not only next season in League One but in the longer term too if they’re promoted to the Championship.
Sunderland had to operate with three-at-the-back towards the end of last season so the signing of McLaughlin would allow them greater flexibility and the opportunity to play a back four.
McLaughlin is a well-balanced full-back, and is as good defensively as he is going forward. Sunderland fans should expect him to get up and down the wing, and with Sunderland looking to dominate most of their games his assistance in attack from deep should be very effective.