Sunderland to decide on transfer of ex-Arsenal defender next week

Emmanuel Eboue
Emmanuel Eboue
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Sunderland will make a decision on whether to hand a short-term contract to ex-Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue next week.

Free agent Eboue has been on trial at the Academy of Light throughout this month, with the right-back enduring a “mini pre-season” with Sunderland’s fitness coaches last week while the first-team squad were in Dubai for warm-weather training.

The 32-year-old has not played competitively since being released by Turkish side Galatasary in the summer, yet boasts a wealth of Premier League experience after more than 200 appearances for Arsenal.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce was unable to land a new right-back in the January transfer window, but has given Eboue a sustained chance to prove his fitness, with the acid test for the Ivory Coast international coming in a behind-closed-doors game next week.

Allardyce told the Echo: “By next week, we’ll take a view.

“It was about getting him fit, having not played for so long.

“We didn’t take him to Dubai with us because he could do more morning and afternoon sessions here with the fitness coaches.

“The lads in Dubai were just doing morning sessions and then having some time to themselves.

“We’ll play him in a game behind closed doors next week and make a decision from there.

“But if he’s fit enough, he’s going to be good enough.”

Meanwhile, Sunderland Under-21 captain Liam Agnew is on trial with League One Bradford City, with the Bantams considering offering him a contract.

Midfielder Agnew’s deal expires at Sunderland in the summer and at 21, he is not expected to remain at the Stadium of Light.

However, the ex-Boston loanee scored twice for Bradford reserves against Port Vale earlier this week and boss Phil Parkinson has confirmed his interest.

“His contract is up in the summer and we asked Sunderland if he could come down and play so we could compare him with our lads,” said Parkinson.

“We saw him maybe as another one to bring in now or someone to go for in the summer.

“I don’t think he could have done much more in the game. He scored two goals in a very good team performance and he’s someone we are considering.”