Sunderland to decide on future of Champions League finalist next week

Sam Allardyce confirms that he will make a decision on whether to sign Emmanuel Eboue once the defender has built up his fitness.

Sunderland will make a decision on whether to sign former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue after the Ivorian plays in a behind-closed-doors friendly next week, Sam Allardyce has confirmed to the Sunderland Echo.

The 32-year-old has been training with the Black Cats this month in a bid to build up his fitness after being released by Turkish side Galatasaray in the summer.

The ex-Gunner, who played 90 minutes for the North London club in the 2006 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, has been working at the club's training ground whilst Allardyce and his squad enjoyed a fitness camp in Dubai.

Eboue has not played a competitive match since the end of last season, but the Black Cats managed insisted that as long as he can prove his fitness he could have a part to play at the Stadium of Light.

Allardyce told the Echo: "By next week, we’ll take a view. It was about getting him fit, having not played for so long. We didn’t take him to Dubai with us because he could do more morning and afternoon sessions here with the fitness coaches.

"We’ll play him in a game behind closed doors next week and make a decision from there. But if he’s fit enough, he’s going to be good enough."

It is likely to be all hands on deck for Sunderland during the remaining three months of the Premier League season, with the club currently second from bottom but just one point away from safety,

Allardyce will be hoping the Eboue's experience - the defender played over 200 competitive matches for Arsenal - will be add a useful ingredient to his squad for the run-in.

Sunderland travel to Europa League challengers West Ham United on Saturday.

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