Sunderland Close In On Former Everton Striker

Free agent McFadden to join Black Cats.

Sunderland are close to signing free-agent James McFadden after the striker proved his fitness to boss Martin O’Neill.

McFadden has been without a club since being released by Everton in the summer but has spent the past three weeks training with the Black Cats.

The Scot’s agent, Rob Segal, told the Sunderland Chronicle that his client should sign a contract by the end of the week and will be available for the Tyne-Wear derby a week on Sunday.

McFadden, 29, came close to retiring after suffering a serious cruciate ligament injury while playing for Birmingham City nearly two years ago.

Against the odds, the former Scotland international fought back to fitness and signed for re-signed for Everton in the summer for 2011.

But McFadden struggled to win a place in the Toffees first team and made just 8 appearances all season.

O’Neill has long-admired the powerful left-footer, who can also play in midfield, and tried to sign a 20-year-old McFadden on loan for Celtic in 2003, only for Motherwell to accepted a £1.25m offer from Everton.

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