Reid in Eric bid

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SUNDERLAND have taken exciting French striker Eric Hassli on trial with a view to a permanent move.

The Metz hit-man will spend three days at the club, hoping to impress Black Cats boss Peter Reid enough to win a move to The Stadium of Light.

The 20-year-old ace is regarded as one of the best young players in France and Metz know they face a fight to hold onto his services.

Hassli has established himself in Metz's side, playing 18 games last season and scoring two goals, but has only figured on three occasions this term.

Metz are ready to cash-in on him as they seek to reduce their debts and Reid could test their resolve with a bid.

Reid is determined to bolster his striking options as his side have struggled to score goals all season with only Kevin Phillips regularly finding the net.

The Black Cats boss is also in the market for a long-term replacement for Niall Quinn with the veteran Irishman expected to hang up his boots at the end of the season.

Hassli is a somewhat similar type of player to Quinn as he stands at 6ft 3ins and, with Reid known to like playing with a big target-man in attack, the Frenchman would offer him that option.