This week has seen reports emerge that Aston Villa will look to release striker Ross McCormack in the summer. The Telegraph report that Villa could end the Scotland striker’s spell at Villa Park two years early after a torrid time in the Midlands.
The 31-year-old signed for Villa after three incredible goalscoring seasons with Leeds United and then Fulham. The fee to bring him to Bodymoor Heath was in the region of £12 million, according to BBC Sport.
But in two seasons at Villa Park he has played just 24 times and scored two goals. Signed by Roberto Di Matteo, a massive bust-up with his new manager Steve Bruce saw the Scot frozen out. He has since spent time on loan with Nottingham Forest and Melbourne City.
So with McCormack a free transfer in the summer, who will risk his signature?
One team that surely will be interested is Sunderland. The Black Cats look doomed to League One and will be looking for new recruits to take them back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Sunderland have been linked before. Sky Sports reported Sunderland tried to sign him on loan in the summer, which would have reunited him with former Leeds boss Simon Grayson. However the Daily Star suggested Bruce pulled the plug on the deal as he saw Sunderland as promotion rivals, how wrong he was.
But Sunderland have another link to the player at the club currently. Grayson may be gone, replaced by former Wales manager Chris Coleman, but his assistant Kit Symons does know McCormack well. He was the striker’s manager for 13 months at Craven Cottage. McCormack won the club’s player of the year award under his guidance and would surely love to work with him again.
McCormack would be a gamble. On top of his recent troubles there is expense, the Scot will want a good wage at Sunderland which may be dependent on any potential summer takeover. But he is a proven goalscorer and in Australia this season was prolific – scoring 14 goals in 17 appearances.
If Symons can convince him to cut his wage demands McCormack could be the perfect signing to guide Sunderland back to the Championship in the likely event of relegation.