TOM FLANAGAN: Sunderland target Northern Ireland international

Tom Flanagan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.Tom Flanagan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Tom Flanagan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Sunderland are closing in on the signing of Northern Ireland international Tom Flanagan.

The 26-year-old was made available for transfer by Burton Albion at the end of last season and the Black Cats have made a move for his services.

Flanagan is primarily a centre-back but can play anywhere across the back four.

He is expected to move on a free transfer.

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Burton boss Nigel Clough told Burton Live in May that it was a budgetary decision to let Flanagan go.

He said: “He’s got a year left, but we have to free something up somewhere.

“With John Brayford, if Damien McCrory stays (he has been offered a new deal), and Ben Turner stepping in at left-back as he did, I don’t think we can carry all three.

“He’s made 57 Championship appearances in the last two years, and he did well.

“He had a new lease of life, almost, at full-back.

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“The reasoning for bringing him back was he covers you all the way across the back four.

“That’s still the case, but we have to make cuts somewhere and unfortunately, that’s one of them.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong greatly. It’s just that, as I say, if Damien signs, it’ll be Brayford and Damien who’ll be our full-backs.”

Flanagan made 27 Championship appearances last season and made his international debut last June.