Sunderland closing in on key appointment as Gillingham strengthen

Sunderland’s search for a new goalkeeping coach is set to be concluded.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 4:30 pm

Here are some of the latest Black Cats-related news stories from around the web.

Sunderland to make coach decision

Sunderland’s search for a new goalkeeping coach is nearing a conclusion.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats have held interviews with four candidates this week, and two have been invited back for further conversations at the end of this week.

The position has been vacant since Lee Butler left to link back up with former Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson at National League side Wrexham.

David Preece, who stepped in to help during Sunderland’s week-long training camp in Edinburgh, is understood to be one of the quartet in contention.

Sunderland are back in action on Saturday when make the short trip to Harrogate.

Rhys Bennett has signed for Gillingham after rejecting a new contract from Carlisle

The defender, who can play at centre-half or defensive midfield, made 26 appearances and scored five goals for the Blues last season.

The move sees Bennett reunited with his former manager Steve Evans, whom he played under at Mansfield and Peterborough.

Evans told the club website: “Rhys is a big strong lad who is very mobile and quick. He has a brilliant attitude, a winning mentality and as a manager you never have enough of them.

“The location suited, he wanted to be a part of it and it quickly happened. He has now joined us, he was outstanding for me at Mansfield hence why we took him to Peterborough and he was almost an ever present when the club was, for many weeks, top of League 1.

“It was no surprise that within 24 hours the Chairman and Rhys came to an agreement and I am delighted to say he has joined us.”

Reported target signs for Middlesbrough

Reported Sunderland target Matt Crooks has completed his move to Middlesbrough from Rotherham.

Ipswich were also credited with interest in the 27-year-old midfielder, yet Millers boss Paul Warne was reluctant to sell to a League One rival.

Crooks has signed a three-year yeal at the Riverside, despite Rotherham’s desire to keep one of their key players.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor