KIlla coming home?? We could do worse surely? But We need to sort out the rest of the team not only the defence.
MATT KILGALLON is a summer transfer target for his old club Leeds United.
Leeds boss Neil Warnock was at the Stadium of Light towards the end of last season to watch the defender in action.
And, with Kilgallon about to enter the final year of his contract, any bid for the 28-year-old’s services will leave Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill with a decision to make.
Kilgallon is one of three centre-backs with only 12 months of their current deals still to run – with Michael Turner and Titus Bramble in the same situation – which means they could leave on Bosman fee transfers at the end of next season.
Turner is almost certain to be offered a new contract but O’Neill is likely to offload either Kilgallon or Bramble to avoid losing them for nothing next summer – and to create room in his squad as he presses ahead with plans to bring in out-of-contract Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar.
O’Neill can also call upon experienced ex-Manchester United centre-backs John O’Shea and Wes Brown, but is keen to add versatile Spaniard Cuellar – a player he took to Villa Park in 2008.
Warnock is aware of the situation on Wearside and is ready to test the water with a bid for Kilgallon. who he also signed while in charge of Sheffield United, paying Leeds £2m for his services in January 2007.
Kilgallon joined Sunderland three years later, but his Black Cats’ career was going nowhere until O’Neill took over. Written off by the man who signed him, Steve Bruce, after only seven games in a Sunderland shirt, Kilgallon was farmed out to Middlesbrough and Doncaster on loan in the 2010-11 season.
And by last November, he was pinning his hopes on being allowed to join a Championship side on trial.
But O’Neill took over in December and an injury crisis at the turn of the year saw him hand Kilgallon another chance.
And he did not disappoint, playing his part in Sunderland’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on New Year’s Day and – even after an ankle injury sidelined him for six weeks – he returned at the end of March and played in all-but-one of the final eight games of the campaign.
Kilgallon’s performances showed that he is capable of being a squad player at Sunderland, but O’Neill’s summer rebuilding work may mean that he will be one of those sacrificed to make way for new faces