It takes a brave man to make the short trip from Tyneside to Wearside.
Only 13 men in footballing history have represented both Newcastle United and Sunderland in their professional careers, with Jack Colback the most recent player to swap one North East giant for the other back in 2014. But could Alex Gilliead become number 14?
According to the Chronicle, the 22-year-old winger is set to leave St James’ Park after six years at Newcastle. Gilliead, who was born in nearby Shotley Bridge, will become a free agent after the Magpies reached an impasse in contract negotiations, which has attracted the attention of numerous clubs.
It is understood that Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are interested, as are teams in the Championship and League One. And it would be little surprise if Sunderland were among them.
Back in November, the Chronicle reported that Sunderland were hoping to land Gilliead on loan from their bitter rivals, and now they have the chance to snap him up for free, which should appeal to the cash-strapped club for obvious reasons.
The 6ft forward has impressed at League One level for Bradford City, making 48 appearances for the Bantams in the third tier last season, and he would give Jack Ross some much needed pace and creativity in attack.
But after six years in the black and white stripes, would Gilliead be willing to pull on the red of Sunderland?