Sunderland boss Jack Ross on ex-Newcastle United defender David Edgar and when a decision will be made

Sunderland boss Jack Ross
Sunderland boss Jack Ross

Jack Ross will make a decision whether to offer free agent David Edgar a trail after Sunderland have negotiated a busy run of games.

The former Newcastle and Burnley defender, 31, has been heavily linked with a move to Wearside, with Ross keen to bolster his defensive options.

But the Sunderland boss is in “no desperate rush” to add to his squad and will probably assess the situation after the Black Cats' clash with Accrington Stanley on December 8 - the Wearsiders' third game in eight days.

Asked if Edgar could be handed a trial, Ross said: “Possibly, we might do, might be something we look at over the next week or so.

“We have a lot of games at the moment as well obviously.

“It is nothing to lose to look at a player, it is very different if somebody is under contract etc

"But there is no desperate rush from me to change the squad in anyway. So, we’ll see."

Ross has kept his eye on the free agent market after arriving at the Stadium of Light in the summer.

The Black Cats boss took centre-back Gael Andonian on trial earlier this season but the Armenian international wasn't offered a contract.

Edgar has plenty of experience in English football, and has also played for Swansea City, Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town.

He is versatile and can play anywhere across the backline, as well as in defensive midfield.

But with Sunderland facing another trip to Walsall on Saturday afternoon, before Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy clash with Notts County and the Accrington game, a decision will have to wait.

“Once we get these games out the way we will probably look at that and decide if it is something worthwhile for us or not.” Ross added:

“We get a lot of players put to us at this stage of the season, there is a variety in terms of availability.

“Some players when they are free agents it becomes a little bit easier to possibly have a look at them.

“That is where we are at with that. Nothing more than that.”

Sunderland must also weigh up whether to offer trailist Sam Smart a deal at the club.

Smart, a 20-year-old forward who plays for non-league side Basingstoke Town, impressed for Sunderland Under-23s against Middlesbrough on Monday night.

Ross admitted no deal has been discussed at this point, and Smart would join the club's under-23 side if he signs for the Black Cats.

“I hadn’t seen him prior to that game, he had been training with the 23s," added Ross.

“Elliott Dickman, Paul Reid and Michael Proctor will have that conversation. There is an input from me in terms of how they build that squad, simply because we have to be aware of players ages and see where they are at.

“The difference with a player like that is he obviously plays first team football already, albeit at a lower level.

“I don’t want us to create, what we’ve maybe had here recently, where we have had a lot of players getting too old to have only just played U23 football.

“It is certainly not been anything we’ve looked at from a first team point of view.”

Ross added: “I thought he did well on Monday, I hadn’t seen him train at all. I was there to watch Duncan and wanted to see Bali as I haven’t seen him play much recently.

“In terms of someone coming in and trying to impress a new group, he couldn’t have done an awful lot more.”