Caldwell linked to Black Cats

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Sunderland are believed to be hot on the trail of defender Steve Caldwell from near-neighbours Newcastle United.

The 23-year-old's current contract is due to expire at the end of next month and it appears his time at St James' Park is drawing to a close.

Caldwell has failed to break into the first team at Newcastle - despite becoming a Scottish international - and spent a period last season on loan at Leeds United.

Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy has been on the look-out for a new defensive lynchpin after deciding to release Phil Babb and Joachim Bjorklund once the club failed to clinch promotion back to the top flight via the play-offs.

If the player does elect to make the short move to The Stadium of Light he will become the first to do so since Lee Clark joined Sunderland from The Magpies in 1997.