Sunderland are rumoured to be one of a host of Premier League clubs tracking former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue after the full-back was released from his contract by Galatasaray.
The former Ivory Coast international had, prior to this season, been a mainstay in the side, appearing 102 times for the club in his first three seasons in Istanbul.
For this campaign though, Eboue has not featured at all.
With Cesare Prandelli’s squad featuring more foreign players than are permitted to be registered in the Turkish top division, the 31-year-old was not included in their final squad list.
Following nine months without featuring in competitive action, Eboue has now been released from the 19-time Super Lig winners.
This has alerted a number of clubs from over Europe, with a pair of north east rivals rumoured to be leading the race.
Gustavo Poyet will be keen to bolster his squad to get the Sunderland fans off his back, with his team being booed off during their goalless draw with Fulham at the weekend.
The Uruguayan described how his fans are “living in the past”, as he persists with a 3-5-2 formation, that doesn’t seem to work.
However, bringing in Eboue could be a good move to tailor that strategy, with the former Gunner a dab hand at getting forward from the wing-back positions.
The ability to bolster both the Black Cats’ defensive resolve and attacking threat, with no need to pay a transfer fee could tempt Poyet to move for the player.
Sunderland have scored fewer goals than all teams bar Aston Villa this season, and although the addition of Jermain Defoe is a start, the former England man still needs plenty of support going forward.
But the Mackems could have competition from just down the road.
Newcastle are another team reported in bagging the recent free agent, and would offer a more stable foundation for Eboue to ply his trade.
Nevertheless, convince him that Wearside is a better bet than Tyneside, and Poyet’s men would only strengthen their position in the current relegation dogfight.
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