Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has hinted that Gavin McCann may
be on his way from the Stadium of Light.
McCarthy has revealed Sunderland's squad numbers for the new
season - and has left McCann's number 8 spot blank.
Should the former Everton man remain with the Black Cats when
the Nationwide season begins, he will wear number 41.
But McCann is not the only big-name to be affected.
Keeper Thomas Sorensen, another of those who appears to have
played his last game for the Black Cats, has been given the number
25 shirt with Estonian international Mart Poom taking over at
Skipper Michael Gray, strikers Kevin Phillips and Tore Andre Flo
and midfielder Claudio Reyna, all of whom have been linked with
moves away from Wearside, have also slipped down the pecking order
with record signing Flo, who wore nine last season, having to make
do with 29.
"As far as Kevin, Thomas and Gavin are concerned, for
example, the squad numbers simply reflect the fact that these
players are in ongoing discussions with various clubs and the
likelihood is that they won't be at the football club that much
longer," said McCarthy.
"I've got to accept that. I've spoken to the
players involved in changes in numbers before going public with the
squad list and they don't have a problem with it."
Just last week, David Moyes admitted an interest in bringing the
25-year-old back to Goodison, but Aston Villa are also interested
in signing the talented midfielder.
McCann, left Goodison in a £500,000 deal in 1998 that gave
Everton 25 per cent of any sell on fee if over £1.5 million,
but with the Black Cats valuing McCann at around £3 million,
Moyes feels that they are currently overpricing their man.