Sunderland quartet not offered new contracts by club

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
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Sunderland have decided not to offer new contracts to four youngsters.

Liam Agnew, Martin Smith, Mikael Mandron and Dylan McEvoy will all leave the club at the end of the current season when their existing deals expire.

Academy manager, Ged McNamee, said: “On behalf of everyone at the Academy I would like to wish the lads well for the future.

“It is never easy to release players especially when they have been with you for a number of years, but we always ensure that we do everything we can to support them as they move forward in their careers.”

Agnew, the Under-21 skipper, has been linked with a move to League One Bradford City in the summer.

Agnew spent two week-long trial spells at Bradford earlier this year after Sunderland gave the go-ahead for the midfielder to try to earn a move to Valley Parade.

It is understood that Agnew impressed Bradford boss Phil Parkinson.

Agnew has made just one first-team appearance for Sunderland - as a late substitute in last season’s FA Cup fourth round win at Fulham.

Meanwhile, Mandron - who had a loan spell at Hartlepool United earlier in the season - will also be leaving the Stadium of Light along with Smith, who joined Carlisle on loan until the end of the season earlier this year.

Among the four players to be released, only Mandron has been on the bench under Allardyce’s tenure.

However, with ex-Under-21 boss Robbie Stockdale on his coaching staff, Allardyce has been proactive in promoting the club’s homegrown talent with Duncan Watmore and Jordan Pickford regulars in the first team squad.

Centre-half Tom Beadling and left-back Tommy Robson have trained regularly with the first-team as has George Honeyman while winger Rees Greenwood and midfielder Ethan Robson have also been involved on the training field with the first-team.