Gary Madine contributed heavily to Simon Grayson’s departure from Sunderland, scoring in the 3-3 home draw with Bolton Wanderers that preceded the manager’s rather inevitable sacking in late October.
Ironically, however, Madine could now be one of the first players brought to the Stadium of Light by Grayson’s successor, Chris Coleman.
The Sunderland Echo report that Coleman knows he has to be intelligent in the transfer market due to the lack of funds at his disposal – and has therefore turned his attention towards a potential bargain deal for the Bolton Wanderers frontman.
Madine, a striker with North East roots who was born in Gateshead, has scored just six goals in 21 appearances for Bolton this season, including two in the weekend’s 3-1 win against Barnsley.
The 27-year-old also has plenty of Championship experience, having previously represented Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool in the second tier. It remains to be seen, however, whether Bolton would be receptive to Sunderland’s approach.
The similarly cash-strapped Wanderers will have to sell in order to buy in the New Year but it goes without saying that they would be taking a major risk allowing their first-choice centre-forward to move to a side who could end up fighting against them for Championship survival.
Nonetheless, a new goalscorer is needed on Wearside with the future of Bournemouth loanee Lewis Grabban uncertain and James Vaughan hardly setting the world alight.