Sunderland closing in on signing of Burton defender Tom Flanagan
Sunderland are closing in on the signing of Tom Flanagan.
The 26-year-old was made available for transfer by Burton Albion at the end of last season and the Black Cats have made a move for his services.
The Northern Ireland international is primarily a centre-back but can play anywhere across the back four.
He is expected to move on a free transfer.
Burton boss Nigel Clough told Burton Live in May that it was a budgetary decision to let Flanagan go.
He said: "He's got a year left, but we have to free something up somewhere.
"With John Brayford, if Damien McCrory stays (he has been offered a new deal), and Ben Turner stepping in at left-back as he did, I don't think we can carry all three.
"He's made 57 Championship appearances in the last two years, and he did well.
"He had a new lease of life, almost, at full-back.
"The reasoning for bringing him back was he covers you all the way across the back four.
"That's still the case, but we have to make cuts somewhere and unfortunately, that's one of them.
"He hasn't done anything wrong greatly. It's just that, as I say, if Damien signs, it'll be Brayford and Damien who'll be our full-backs."
Flanagan made 27 Championship appearances last season and made his international debut last June.
Jack Ross is in the market for defensive reinforcements after the departures of John O'Shea and Marc Wilson. Lamine Kone and Bryan Oviedo are also expected to leave the club this summer.
The Black Cats boss has already added Alim Ozturk to his ranks and Flanagan could join in the coming days.
Following the imminent departure of Jack Rodwell, Ross is expected to make at least one addition before the team fly out to Portugal for a pre-season training camp.