Sunderland right-back Phil Bardsley’s five year stay at the Stadium of Light looks to be over.
The 28-year-old, a former Sunderland Player of the Season, has been ostracised by head coach Paolo Di Canio since photographs emerged of a late-night casino session in the run-up to the final game of the season at Spurs in May.
Bardsley was fined and dropped for that game, and did not travel with the team for their pre-season training camp in Italy, nor was included in the squad for the Hong Kong trip this weekend either.
Instead, he played for Sunderland’s Under-21 development side yesterday in a goalless pre-season friendly against Southampton at the Academy of Light.
It has been a chastening experience for the defender but Fulham are now expected to bring an end his miserable last few months on Wearside.
Fulham boss Martin Jol is expected to capitalise on the situation by agreeing a cut-price deal for a player who has made close to 150 starts for Sunderland since being signed by Roy Keane in January 2008.