Sunderland AFC transfer news LIVE: Black Cats sign ex-Ipswich defender Tommy Smith
Sunderland will return to the Stadium of Light this weekend ahead of back-to-back home games against Bristol Rovers and Fleetwood.
The Black Cats will have to cope without centre-back Bailey Wright who is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury.
Sunderland are now exploring the free agent market as they look to replace Wright, while they have also taken a defender on trial.
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LIVE: Sunderland AFC transfer news (February 21)
Last updated: Friday, 21 February, 2020, 15:43
- Sunderland are preparing for Saturday's meeting with Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light.
- The Black Cats will have to manage without defender Bailey Wright who is likely to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
- Phil Parkinson has revealed the club are looking at free agents to replace Wright.
- South Shields and ex-PSV defender Wouter Verstraaten is training with Sunderland as part of a trial.
- DONE DEAL: Sunderland complete signing of defender Tommy Smith on a free.
Classy message from the new signing
Sunderland complete signing of Tommy Smith
Sunderland AFC have completed the signing of Tommy Smith.
The centre back has signed a deal at the Stadium of Light until the end of the 2019-20 campaign, subject to international clearance.
Smith said: “I know a lot about the club – the history and the fan base. I am delighted to be a part of it and hopefully I can help push the team up towards the Championship.
“I’ve heard about the Stadium of Light and the atmosphere that is generated and I am just really excited to step out there for the first time and hopefully success can follow.
He continued: “I see myself as a leader on and off the pitch so hopefully I can use that to be a good addition to the squad.”
SAFC manager Phil Parkinson added: “I am delighted with the signing of Tommy Smith. He is a good addition to the squad and will add competition to the back three.”
Hold on to your hats...
Aiden McGeady has been speaking about his Sunderland exit
McGeady, who still has 18-months to run on his Sunderland contract, was told in mid-December that he had no future on Wearside under Parkinson
The winger joined Championship side Charlton Athletic, who beat Sunderland in last season’s play-off final, on loan on deadline day.
McGeady insists it wasn’t anything personal or a fallout between himself and Parkinson and said the reason behind his exit was nothing more than a disagreement.
Speaking exclusively to the South London Press, last year’s player of the year McGeady said: “There was nothing more or nothing less than me and the manager not seeing eye to eye.
“He felt it better that I train away from the group, for whatever reason.
“I didn’t do anything which saw me be fined, disciplined, sacked or banned from the training ground – just me and the manager had a disagreement. I was told to follow the schedule of the U23s from that point on.
“These things happen in football and you have to get on with it. It wasn’t anything personal or a fallout between myself and him.
“It’s nothing more than the manager felt he was better without me and that he didn’t need me. We didn’t see eye to eye.”
We are holding a live Q&A at noon today with Phil Smith - and we want your questions
Who else is available?
Here are some names Sunderland could consider if they bring in a replacement for Bailey Wright.
Sunderland have been taking a closer look at South Shields and ex-PSV Eindhoven central defender Wouter Verstraaten.
The 23-year-old remains a Shields player but has been allowed to spend time training at the Academy of Light as part of a trial.
The highly-rated defender came through the ranks of Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven and can play anywhere across the back line and in midfield.
Read more HERE
Cats looking for cover after Wright injury
Parkinson revealed yesterday that Sunderland are looking at free agents following Wright's injury setback.
“We'll look around as well to see if there's an out of contract option, we've spoken to a couple of people this week,” said the Black Cats boss.
“If there's someone we think is right, [we'll do it] to ensure we've got the strength in that department again."