The newly-appointed Sunderland manager brought O’Neil to Bolton Wanderers.

Gary O’Neil would have still been a Bolton Wanderers player had Phil Parkinson – the new manager of Sunderland – not quit the Trotters in August.

That is, at least, according to O’Neil, who was named Bolton’s player of the year in the Championship last season (The Portsmouth News).

Since then, the 36-year-old midfielder has seen possible moves to Aberdeen and Queens Park Rangers fail to materialise and suffered an Achilles injury which has thus far prevented his return.

But after his recent revelation, could Sunderland emerge as a potential next destination for O’Neil?

Now, Parkinson may not be short of options in central midfield – the Londoner’s preferred position and that in which the Sunderland quintet of Grant Leadbitter, Luke O’Nien, Max Power, George Dobson and Dylan McGeouch are best known for playing.

Not all of those, though, are currently in favour. And, should an opportunity arise to move one or two on in the January transfer window, then a reunion with O’Neil – a player he signed and used regularly at Bolton – could hold some appeal.

And even if one doesn’t, the chance to add a player of O’Neil’s quality – promoted with Portsmouth, West Ham United, QPR and Norwich City – may be worth exploring regardless.

In other news, 'No secret': Director says reported £22m Tottenham and Leeds target wants to leave