Report: Sunderland plot bid to sign Newcastle United's Alex Gilliead in January

Chris Coleman, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Alex Gilliead could make an extremely bold move from Newcastle United to north east neighbours Sunderland.

Alex Gilliead of Newcastle in action during the Pre Season Friendly between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United at Hillsborough on July 30, 2014 in Sheffield, England.

Alex Gilliead was born in the North Eastern town of Shotley Bridge, just 33 miles from Newcastle. And he has been part of The Magpies’ academy since 2011, emerging as a great hope in an area that has not produced as many exciting young prospects as it really should have done in recent years.

But, before Gilliead has even made his first-team debut in Newcastle United colours, could the 21-year-old winger be seen in a Sunderland shirt?

According to The Chronicle, Newcastle’s bitter North East rivals have watched Gilliead in action on loan at League One Bradford City this season. And Sunderland, like Hull City and Millwall, are keen to sign the youngster on loan during the January transfer window.

Alex Gilliead of Bradford City in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Bradford City at Sixfields on September 23, 2017 in Northampton, England.

Gilliead has impressed with The Bantams, scooping the club’s Player of the Month award in September. And with his loan spell set to expire at the turn of the year, Sunderland obviously believe that the 6ft 2ins wideman has the talent to play at a higher level.

New Black Cats boss Chris Coleman knows that he will need to be clever in the January window with a lack of funds at his disposal. Loan deals for talented youngsters with a point to prove, then, could be the order of the day.

Chris Coleman, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

The Sunderland Echo linked The Black Cats with seldom-seen Liverpool starlets Danny Ward and Ben Woodburn last week too.

And with Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez keen for Gilliead to get some more first-team experience under his belt, will the Tyneside giants overlook this most hostile of rivalries and send one of the club’s most exciting prospects to their nearby arch enemy?

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