Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United

Academy graduate Jordan Hunter is hoping to be offered a new contract at Sunderland. But a permanent move to South Shields is on the cards if the youngster is released in July, according to the Gazette.

A talented right-back who moved to Wearside from Liverpool two years ago, Hunter is one of a whole host of Black Cats players who are set to see their contract expire in just over a month.

However, given the doubts surrounding the futures of first-team stars like Jon McLaughlin, Duncan Watmore and Chris Maguire, Hunter’s situation has gone somewhat under the radar so far.

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The Lancashire-born 20-year-old has spent most of the 2019/20 campaign on loan at South Shields and he caught the eye for all the right reasons, albeit at a non-league outfit.

Hunter’s rampaging performances are a major reason why South Shields were 12 points clear at the top of the National League North table before the campaign was brought to a premature conclusion by the global health crisis.

If Sunderland decide against tying Hunter down to a new deal, the ex-Anfield starlet would have no qualms about committing his immediate future to The Mariners on a full-time basis.

Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

For now, however, he has not given up hope of being handed a fresh start at the Stadium of Light.

Many a Sunderland fan has been left unimpressed by the lack of budding talents emerging from behind the scenes on Wearside recently. But the Black Cats appear, at last, to be giving their academy the focus it deserves, casting their eyes over a number of exciting trialists in recent months.

Whether this has come too late for Hunter, we will have to wait and see.

Lewis Storey/Getty Images

In other news, 'Nothing to say': Liverpool boss issues blunt response on £47.5m transfer