Sunderland AFC news: International call-up for duo, Manchester City to ramp up interest in Jordan Pickford
Sunderland duo John O'Shea and Darron Gibson have been included in Martin O'Neill's 39-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad.
Gibson, 29, joined Sunderland from Everton in January and he has made four appearances since teaming up with David Moyes at the Stadium of Light.
The central midfielder will be looking to add to his 29 international caps after making the provisional squad alongside experienced Sunderland skipper O'Shea, who has 116 caps.
Currently unbeaten after four games in their World Cup qualifiers, Ireland sit at the top of Group D, having won three and drawn the other.
The Republic play Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday 24 March during the upcoming international break, which takes place after this weekend's round of Premier League games.
O’Neill’s side then face a friendly against Iceland.
Former Black Cats John Egan, James McClean, David Meyler, Paul McShane and Daryl Murphy have also been called up to the squad.
Follow our live SAFC blog here:Plenty of interest in Jordan Pickford
Manchester City have long been admirers of Sunderland ace Jordan Pickford and it appears they are ready to step up their interest, according to fresh reports.
City are ready to spark a bidding war and make a big-money offer within days of the end of the season, report the Northern Echo.
City boss Pep Guardiola wants to overhaul his squad in the summer and is keen to get most of his business done early.
Pickford, who turned 23 last week, has excelled since breaking into the Sunderland first team this season.
The England Under-21 international was drafted into the main England squad earlier this season as a result of his form for Sunderland.