Alex Rae reveals the Sunderland star he wanted to sign for Blackpool

Former Sunderland midfielder Alex Rae has spoken of his admiration for Chris Maguire – having previously wanted to sign the Scot for Blackpool.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 9:44 am

Rae, who played for the club between 1996 and 2001, was speaking exclusively to the Echo before tackling the 2020 London Marathon for Erskine.

And he has revealed that during his spell at Bloomfield Road – where he was Paul Ince’s assistant – he was keen to sign current Sunderland star Maguire, who was then playing for Sheffield Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, has caught the eye for the Black Cats in recent weeks and Rae has praised the club for securing his signature last summer.

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Ex-Sunderland midfielder Alex Rae

“Maguire was a good piece of business,” he said.

“I remember him. He was at Sheffield Wednesday when I was doing a little bit of work with Blackpool, and I always fancied him.

“When he went to Sunderland, I thought he could do a job there.”

Maguire is one of a core of Scottish players at the Stadium of Light, and Rae believes having a group of players from north of the border – as there was during his spell on Wearside – can help give the side a sense of identity.

“The good thing about it is, even in my time at Sunderland there was myself and Allan Johnston and Millwall had a core of Scottish players too.

“I think that gives teams a little bit of identity. Scottish players like to get wired in.”