Sunderland’s Northern Ireland international defender Tom Flanagan could have a tough decision to make this summer. The Black Cats have offered Flanagan a new deal to stay at the Stadium of Light. However, according to Mark Donnelly of the Sunderland Echo, Coventry City and Birmingham City are interested.
Tom Leach of the Coventry Telegraph has also reported that the Midland rivals are interested in the defender but has suggested that the Sky Blues of Coventry have already held talks.
Sunderland’s Tom Flanagan May Have Decision to Make
Contract Set to Expire
Tom Flanagan’s current contract at Sunderland is set to expire on June 30th. The Black Cats have offered the defender a new deal, but nothing has been resolved. Interested parties have been able to speak to the player since June 24th and it appears Coventry and Birmingham have been in contact. Last week, Scott Wilson of the Northern Echo reported that the two Championship clubs have help talks with Flanagan’s representatives.
Black Cats Keen on Keeping Tom Flanagan
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson is keen to keep the versatile defender. Flanagan was in and out of the side under Jack Ross, but since the arrival of Parkinson, Flanagan has been a regular.
It will be a summer of rebuilding for Sunderland with many players leaving. At present, Parkinson has just one first-team defender under contract in Jordan Willis. The loss of Flanagan would be a disappointment to the Black Cats boss. Sunderland would be able to replace Flanagan but whether that would be with someone with similar League One and international experience is up for debate.
It Would Take ‘Something Special’ for Flanagan to Leave Wearside
Prior to the season being suspended, it appeared that Flanagan signing a new contract would be a foregone conclusion. Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, he said: “I’ve got a young family who love it up here. We’ve both said it’s the nicest place that we’ve lived up here. We’ve enjoyed it and the people and stuff like that.
“I mean the football club… it will be something special for me to just turn my back and walk away. I can’t see that happening.
“But ultimately it’s in the club’s hands, so if it’s something that they’re not interested in then obviously I’m not gonna have a choice.”
Should the contract be agreeable to Flanagan, then Sunderland should see the defender at the club next season. Should the deal not suit him or his representatives, he will have a decision to make.