Report: Sunderland want a free agent who Parkinson once called 'outstanding'

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Lincoln City at Stadium of Light on January 4, 2020 in Sunderland, England.

Gary Madine was released by Championship Cardiff City on Thursday but could he be on his way to League One hopefuls Sunderland?

Gary Madine of Cardiff City during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Cardiff City at Vitality Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

Gary Madine is the latest striker on Sunderland's radar, as reported by the Northern Echo, with Phil Parkinson keen to reunite with the Cardiff City flop at the Stadium of Light.

Barely a day goes by these days without a new centre-forward being tipped to make a January switch to Wearside. Liam Boyce, Kyle Lafferty and Billy Sharp are all on the radar of the League One giants and, with Madine’s ill-fated spell in South Wales coming to an end, it is no surprise that he too is a target.

Cardiff confirmed on Thursday that they had parted company with a striker who failed to justify his eye-watering £6 million price-tag with a single goal for the Bluebirds. And Madine’s free agent status has not gone unnoticed.

 

The Northern Echo claims that the Gateshead-born targetman is under consideration by Sunderland – despite his well-publicised love of a certain Tyneside-based outfit. Black Cats supporters would certainly be willing to overlook Madine’s black and white past, however, if he fires them out of the third tier.

The 29-year-old helped Bolton win promotion to the Championship as recently as 2017, when Phil Parkinson was in charge at the Macron Stadium.

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Lincoln City at Stadium of Light on January 4, 2020 in Sunderland, England.

Parkinson, who replaced Jack Ross at Sunderland in October, is a huge fan of an old-school bull of a centre-forward who looks perfectly suited to his direct style of football.

"He was outstanding," the experienced tactician said of Madine three years ago, as reported by The Star. "He led the line terrifically well and delivered a winning performance."

With Charlie Wyke, Will Grigg and Marc McNulty struggling to prove their worth on Wearside, reuniting Madine with a coach who got the best out of him in the past might not be a bad idea.

Bolton Wanderers' Gary Madine celebrates scoring their first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town at Macron Stadium on January 20, 2018 in...

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