Grant Leadbitter is closing in on an emotional return to his first club Sunderland, according to the Sunderland Echo.
The Middlesbrough midfielder is reportedly set for a medical at the Stadium of Light as Jack Ross closes in on the business he hopes he can get his side over the line in the race for promotion out of League 1.
Leadbitter left the club back in 2009 but is set for a return after slipping down the pecking order due to the host of central midfielders at Tony Pulis’ disposal at the Riverside Stadium – a situation that has not been helped by the recent arrival of former Chelsea man Jon Obi Mikel.
But his return is not just a sentimental swoop; he can form a genuinely combative and classy central midfield axis alongside Lee Cattermole, with plenty of experience to negotiate the business end of the season.
In the third tier, both men are capable of setting the tempo in a match and Ross is also getting another fantastic professional through the door at the club where standards have slipped in recent years.
The key to any potential Black Cats success is hard-working professionals with the quality to dominate matches in League 1 and on that score, Leadbitter is ideal to help his boyhood club make a return to the second tier at the first time of asking.