£500,000 star explains why he joined rivals after claims he snubbed Sunderland

A general view of Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland FC during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Fleetwood Town at Stadium of Light on September 8, 2018 in Sunderland,...

That is the fee Swansea City are reported to have paid for the alleged Sunderland target.

Swansea player Barrie McKay in action during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Swansea City and Gillingham at Liberty Stadium on January 26, 2019 in Swansea, United Kingdom.

The Swansea City winger Barrie McKay has explained why he settled on a loan to Fleetwood Town with other clubs - namely Sunderland - said to have been keen.

The Fleetwood manager Joey Barton claimed earlier this week that his side had beaten Sunderland to McKay's signature.

Barton, who played for the Mackems' local rivals Newcastle, was a teammate of the Scot at Rangers.

And he is not the only Fleetwood face with which McKay is familiar from his time at Ibrox.

 

Explaining his decision via the club's official Twitter account, McKay said: "I spoke to him (Barton), I spoke to (the Fleetwood assistant manager) Clint Hill as well, who I played with.

"I think the fact that they were so keen to have me here was probably a big factor.

"When Clint was messaging me he was just like, 'we'd love to have you here,' and it was the same with the gaffer as well.

"Just the fact that you're wanted somewhere was probably the nicest thing."

How seriously Sunderland pursued McKay - if at all - remains to be seen.

The Wearside club lost one winger in Aiden McGeady last month, but replaced him with their reported long-term target Antoine Semenyo.

Newport County's English striker Antoine Semenyo has an unsuccessful shot during the English FA Cup third round football match between Newport County and Leicester City at Rodney Parade in...

Sunderland could see first hand what Barton claims they missed out on when Fleetwood travel to the Stadium of Light later this month.

As well as stints Rangers and Swansea, McKay had a productive six-month spell at Nottingham Forest.

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