Sunderland starlet Jordan Pickford says he would NEVER join bitter rivals Newcastle United.
The highly-rated goalkeeper could leave the club in the summer if – as seems likely – the Black Cats are relegated from the Premier League.
Pickford, nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year, will have a host of clubs chasing his signature, including Manchester City, Arsenal and Man City.
But he says he would never follow former team-mate Jack Colback in crossing the Tyne-Wear divide.
Colback infamously joined the Magpies when his contract expired at the Stadium of Light a couple of years ago.
“Jack’s playing on the other side of the water these days unfortunately,” said Pickford, in an interview with Sky Sports’ former Sunderland Echo columnist Dave Jones. “I would never do that.
“I couldn’t do it myself. I would never go to Newcastle. [Leaving Sunderland] is not something I’ve looked at yet and it’s not something I want to look at either.”
“Obviously I want to stay up in the Premier League and to help keep Sunderland up would be a dream.
“It’s going to be hard for us to do. Not staying up would be a kick in the teeth.
“As a local lad I know what this means to the fans and we as a team will be doing all we can try and avoid that.
“It’s going to be a tough task, but we’ve got to have the belief that we can do it.”