Sunderland coach admits interest in Newcastle United goalkeeper - and reveals when he could sign
Elliott Dickman expects Sunderland to make a decision on Newcastle United goalkeeper Nathan Harker in the coming week.
Harker has been told his current contract at St James’s Park, which expires in the summer, will not be renewed – and has been encouraged to trial and play with other clubs as he seeks a new deal elsewhere.
And that saw the 21-year-old start for the Black Cats’ under-23 side as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 in the Premier League Cup.
Harker made a string of fine saves in the second half as Sunderland clinched a late victory, leaving Dickman impressed.
“The keeper, Nathan, has made a couple of good saves,” he said, speaking to the Echo.
“He’s been training with us for a couple of days and he was smashing tonight. Hopefully he’ll play again next Monday and he does as well.”
“He’s still at Newcastle, but he’s allowed to visit and trial at other clubs,” continued Dickman.
“We’ve took that opportunity to bring him in and have a look. Hopefully he does well and he enjoys it.
“When you get news like that [being released] it can be quite difficult to motivate yourself, but to be fair to Nathan since he’s been in he's been very professional.
“Hopefully he continues in that manner.”
The Sunderland under-23 boss also confirmed that, should Harker put pen to paper at the Academy of Light, he would team-up with the second string rather than Phil Parkinson’s first-team squad.
He expects a decision on that front to be made in the next week – with the youngster in line to feature against Wigan Athletic on Monday, January 27.
“We’d look at him,” added Dickman.
“Anthony Patterson normally plays for us and he’s had a really good season, so if we do decide to take things a little bit further with Nathan then it may be a case of deciding what we want to do with Anthony.
“At the moment we’re not at that stage, so we’ll see where we’re at in the next couple of days and how he does against Wigan next week.”