Sunderland take South Shields defender on trial as Phil Parkinson looks for cover after injury blow

Phil Parkinson says he will consider signing a free agent in the coming weeks, with Bailey Wright unlikely to play again this season.

Wright suffered ankle ligament damage in the latter stages of the 1-0 win over Oxford United last weekend, and is set to be out for eight to twelve weeks.

Alim Ozturk is set to replace him in the team for the visit of Bristol Rovers this weekend, with Parkinson admitting that he was unfortunate to lose his place in the team earlier in the campaign.

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Parkinson is backing the popular Ozturk to make an impression, but admits he does not want to be left short in case of a further injury or suspension.

Sunderland defender Bailey WrightSunderland defender Bailey Wright
Sunderland defender Bailey Wright

He has identified a couple of potential further options who he feels could add cover, but any decision would be dependent on their current fitness levels.

It comes as Sunderland have taken South Shields defender and ex-PSV Eindhoven central defender Wouter Verstraaten on trial. The 23-year-old is training with Sunderland.

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Roker Report broke the news and sources have confirmed to the Echo that while he remains a Shields player he is being allowed to train with SAFC as a trialist.

Parkinson also has Conor McLaughlin who is comfortable playing on the right of the back three, but is reluctant to move Jordan Willis given his exceptional form and regular attacking contributions from the right.