Sunderland AFC: Six free agents new Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce could turn to

Sam Allardyce (left) congratulates Kevin Nolan during their time at West Ham
Sam Allardyce (left) congratulates Kevin Nolan during their time at West Ham
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New Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will no doubt look to strengthen his Black Cats squad as they battle against the drop, with several names already linked.

West Ham pair James Tomkins and James Collins have already been strongly linked but Allardyce would have to wait until January to land either of the two centre-halves from his former club.

Available on a free Emmanuel Adebayor

Available on a free Emmanuel Adebayor

One avenue that is immediately open to Allardyce & Co though is the Bosman market, with clubs still able to sign free agents outside the transfer widow.

There is one available space in Sunderland’s squad for a Bosman deal after the Black Cats registered 24 out of a possible 25 players at the end of the summer transfer window.

We take a look at six players that Allardyce could turn to in a bid to boost his struggling squad:

Kevin Nolan:

Carlton Cole is available on a free

Carlton Cole is available on a free

Heavily linked with a move back to the North East ever since Allardyce emerged as the club’s number one choice to replace Dick Advocaat.

The former Newcastle United skipper is well known to Allardyce, with the 33-year-old midfielder one of his trusted lieutenants at West Ham last season and previously at Bolton and Newcastle.

He is available having left the Hammers in the summer and has since been training with Leyton Orient ahead of his next move.

The Echo understands he was initially looking to stay in the London area but Allardyce’s appointment at the Stadium of Light could result in a change of heart for Nolan.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce

What he lacks in pace he makes up for in his goalscoring touch.

Chances: 7/10

Emmanuel Adebayor:

Freed from his contract with Spurs in September, would Allardyce be willing to take a gamble on the Togo striker?

And more to the point would Adebayor be willing to move to Sunderland. The chances of the Black Cats signing - or wanting - Adebayor would appear remote but he does have a strong Premier League goalscoring pedigree and a point to prove.

The former Monaco, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid forward comes with a fair bit of baggage though.

Worth a short-term deal perhaps? He can sign for a new club from January, having been registered with Spurs at the end of the transfer window.

Chances: 4/10

Ron Vlaar:

Sunderland need to improve defensively, of that there is no doubt. Allardyce, before taking charge at the Stadium of Light, had already highlighted that through his work as a pundit.

And he could do a lot worse than bring in ex-Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar.

The Dutchman, strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer, is training with former club AZ Alkmaar as he battles back from a serious knee injury.

Currently available on a free though, he starred at the last World Cup and if he can prove his fitness would be a very shrewd signing indeed.

Chances: 5/10

Carlton Cole:

It should come as no surprise that Allardyce’s former players are being linked with a move to Sunderland.

But the Black Cats could do a lot worse than securing Cole’s signature on a free transfer. The striker worked under Allardyce at West Ham and has been strongly linked with a move to Celtic.

Dick Advocaat was looking for a target man in the summer but instead the club re-signed Fabio Borini.

Ex-England international Cole, 31, could come in and do a short-term job for the Black Cats as they battle against relegation.

But Allardyce’s immediate focus is likely to be on strengthening the defence.

Chances: 5/10

Ricardo Vaz Te:

Sam Allardyce has previously worked with Vaz Te at West Ham United.

The 29-year-old forward, who came up through the ranks at Bolton Wanderers, struggled to shine on a consistent basis for the Hammers and he is currently looking for a new club.

He barely played under Allardyce in the 2014-15 season so a move to the North East looks highly unlikely.

Vaz Te is likely to be low down on Allardyce’s long list, rather than his short list, of potential new faces at the Stadium of Light.

Chances: 3/10

Jermaine Pennant:

A slight curve ball.

But ex-Arsenal, Liverpool, Birmingham City and Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant is available on a free having turned down the chance to stay with Wigan Athletic following their demotion to League One.

With Allardyce set to be focusing his recruitment plans on the defence, a move for the right winger appear remote to say the least.

He will have a big point to prove but at the age of 32, Pennant is struggling to find himself a new club.

Chances: 2/10