Sunderland are in advanced talks to sign defender Morgan Feeney after his recent Everton exit, Football Insider can reveal.

The 21-year-old is a free agent after the Premier League big guns opted not to extend his contract following his loan at Tranmere Rovers in the second half of last season.

A Sunderland source has told Football Insider that they are closing in on Feeney after a breakthrough in negotiations.

The Black Cats are confident of striking a deal for the 6ft 3in centre-back as they look to bolster their team ahead of the new League One campaign.

Feeney graduated from the youth ranks at Goodison Park to play twice for the senior side.

He was also the long-standing captain of David Unsworth’s Under-23s and made a remarkable 68 appearances for Everton at that level.

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Feeney had hoped to ignite his senior career at Tranmere following his January move.

But he made just one appearance at the start of February before suffering a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the rest of the campaign.

Feeney’s progress at Everton had previously been disrupted by a serious knee injury and is hopeful a move to Sunderland can show the big spending top-flight club why they were wrong to let him go.

He made his Everton first-team bow against Atalanta in the Europa League in 2017 and was handed his full debut in another Europa League tie against Apollon Limassol.

Sunderland are in the market for a commanding centre-back with the potential to improve and believe Feeney fits the bill.

In other news, Sunderland have set their sights on landing attacker from Championship club.