SUNDERLAND outcast Matt Kilgallon is on the verge of ending his Wearside misery with a loan move to the Championship.
The ex-Sheffield United centre-half has not featured for the Black Cats’ first team since May last year and is free to leave the Stadium of Light.
While Black Cats boss Steve Bruce has enjoyed success in offloading fellow out-of-favour defenders Nyron Nosworthy and George McCartney, Kilgallon remains on Sunderland’s books with more than 18 months to run on his contract.
But Championship outfits Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Burnley are believed to be upping their interest in the 27-year-old, with a loan move potentially being concluded this week.
“A few Championship clubs are looking at Matt, although I don’t want to say exactly who they are at this stage,” said Kilgallon’s agent Paul Masterton.
“But they are considering taking Matt on loan until January and I think there is a good chance that something will happen this week.
“It has been a very difficult time for Matt because he is not playing at Sunderland and that doesn’t look like changing for now.
“He just wants to be back playing again and a loan move would be the best option for him at the moment.
“He hasn’t given up on Sunderland – you never know what is around the corner in football – but he does need to play games somewhere.”
Kilgallon (left) has made just seven appearances for the Black Cats since arriving in a £2million deal from Sheffield United in January last year.
After failing to impress Bruce, the former Leeds United man was sent out on loan to Middlesbrough at the start of last season, only for the spell to be cut short by a back injury.
He eventually returned to the Championship with Doncaster Rovers, but struggled to make an impact at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Kilgallon was not given a squad number by the Wearsiders at the start of the season and has found himself below rookie defenders Louis Laing and John Egan in the pecking order, with both youngsters appearing on Sunderland’s bench.
Bruce said: “Matt needs to go somewhere to start playing games again, because unfortunately he isn’t getting games here at Sunderland.
“If you’re not in the first team, you need to move on. Matt knows the situation.”
If Bruce can offload Kilgallon, it will be further progress for the Sunderland boss in his attempts to ease the pressure on the club’s wage bill.
Argentine Marcos Angeleri, still on the sidelines after knee surgery, will be the only player left at Bruce’s disposal who doesn’t figure in his first-team plans.