Sunderland are increasingly confident of signing Republic of Ireland international Aiden O’Brien after he was released by Millwall last week, according to the Northern Echo.
Given that Chris Maguire was the only member of Phil Parkinson’s squad to hit double figures during a disappointing 2019/20 campaign, the Black Cats faithful do not need us to tell them that attacking reinforcements are a must this summer.
Fortunately, an attacker with a proven track record at League One level is suddenly available for absolutely nothing.
After falling down the pecking order at Millwall, O’Brien left the Lions’ Den last week.
His contract expired after the Championship season came to a conclusion.
And, according to The Echo, the 26-year-old free-agent has already held talks with a number of clubs; although there is a growing belief inside the Stadium of Light that Sunderland can fight off competition for the Irishman’s signature.
The Wearside giants have even offered O’Brien a contract, in the hope that the versatile forward can replicate his terrific League One form from 2015 to 2017.
In two years in the third tier, O’Brien scored 23 goals, firing Millwall to promotion via the play-offs.
“It’s tough all round because you’ve got a player that’s done so well for you and for the club, and what the club means to Aiden,” Lions’ boss Gary Rowett told News at Den when reacting to O’Brien’s exit.
“Aiden’s got massive credit. Some people who are told [they are being released] might be entitled to not be as professional, but he’s been absolutely brilliant around the place and it shows what a good character he is and what he thinks about the club.”