Phil Parkinson’s League One challengers Sunderland could return to sign ex-PSV Eindhoven starlet Wouter Verstraaten in the summer.

Wouter Verstraaten is still hoping for a move to Sunderland after telling Voetbal Zone that the Black Cats have informed him of their intention to add the former PSV youngster to Phil Parkinson’s squad.

With the global game on pause due to the ongoing pandemic that has swept the entire world, things have gone a little quiet regarding the future of a talented young defender who swapped a Dutch giant for non-league South Shields.

Verstraaten spent a brief trial period at Sunderland earlier in 2020 and, while he is yet to sign a contract with the League One outfit, it seems only a matter of time before he is pictured holding up the red and white shirt with a grin on his face.

“’We are very impressed. We do not yet know exactly what you will fit into next season, but we would like to capture you ‘,” says Verstraaten, recounting what he was told by Sunderland recently.

“Then the contract negotiations started and that is not necessarily exciting, but of course you hope that you get what you hope for.

“Due to the crisis, it has all come to a standstill. They have indicated that they have not gathered so much info lately due to the current situation. As a result, the contract conversations with me and other boys have been put on the back burner.”

Verstraaten was handed the chance to train with Sunderland’s first-team squad in February, admitting that he was taken aback by the interest £4 million striker Will Grigg had taken in a rather unique journey which has taken him from the top of the Eredivisie to the sixth-tier of English football.

It remains to be seen whether the Dutchman will be sharing a dressing room alongside Grigg next season but, with Sunderland clearly interested, it would be a surprise if a deal was not agreed at some point later in the year.

After surviving life in the lower leagues, where growling centre-forwards have no qualms about ‘kicking you in half’, Verstraaten would certainly have few problems adapting to the physical nature of League One football.

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