By Pete O'Rourke

9th Jan, 2020 | 3:45pm

Exclusive: Championship clubs plotting to sign soon-available Sunderland 27yo in cut-price deal

Sunderland defender Tom Flanagan has emerged as a target for several Championship clubs in this month’s transfer window, Football Insider understands.

The Northern Ireland international is out of contract with the League One outfit at the end of the season and no new deal has been agreed as yet.

A source at the Stadium of Light has told Football Insider that the club are reluctant to lose the 27-year-old midway through the season but that his suitors could test their resolve to hang onto him before the window closes.

It is understood a number of clubs in the Championship have been alerted to his potential availability on the cheap this month due to his contract situation at the Stadium of Light.

Flanagan has been in and out of the Sunderland side this season after being a regular in the starting XI last term.

The 27-year-old has made only 13 appearances in all competitions this season, with Jordan Willis and Alim Ozturk the preferred partnership in defence.

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Flanagan made a rare start last weekend against Lincoln and scored in the 3-1 win for Black Cats, but he is understood to be keen to get more regular game time.

The former MK Dons and Burton Albion stopper is eager to be playing frequently in the second half of the season to boost his chances of making the Northern Ireland team should they qualify for this summer’s Euro 2020 finals.

In other Sunderland news, Football Insider have revealed the Black Cats have made a move to sign a Championship attacker on loan.