Phil Parkinson is looking to bring in a familiar face as he looks to prepare Sunderland for their third campaign in League One, with The Sun on Sunday (5/7; page 61) reporting that Black Cats are keen on Jay Spearing.
Spearing is a free agent after recently leaving Blackpool. The former Liverpool trainee made more than 100 league appearances during his time at Bloomfield Road.
And it appears that Parkinson is hoping to recruit the 31-year-old as Sunderland look to get promoted at the third time of asking.
Spearing played under Parkinson at Bolton Wanderers, and The Sun on Sunday (5/7; page 61) reports that the Black Cats boss is keen to be reunited with him this summer.
The report notes that Tranmere are also in talks with the midfielder. It is suggested that he lives near Rovers, so that may be a stumbling block that Sunderland have to clear.
TBR View: Spearing could be shrewd signing for Sunderland
It was a big blow for Sunderland to miss out on going up this season. Their form between late December and the end of February hinted that it would take a brave person to bet against them getting promoted.
That may leave Parkinson with plenty of optimism heading into the new campaign.
And adding players such as Spearing to his ranks could prove incredibly shrewd. He is a leader with plenty of experience.
On a free transfer, it looks to be something of a no-brainer for Sunderland if they can see off any competition.