By Wayne Veysey

14th May, 2020 | 11:34am

Exclusive: Sunderland in pole position to re-sign their former striker

Sunderland lead the chase to re-sign their former striker Mikael Mandron this summer, Football Insider can reveal.

The 25-year-old has spent the season playing for Gillingham but is available on a Bosman free transfer in the summer.

A Sunderland source has told Football Insider the club lead the chase for Mandron after being impressed by his development.

He left the Black Cats in the summer of 2016 after three senior appearances to drop down to the non-league to ignite his career.

That appears to have paid dividends and Sunderland are battling two Championship clubs for his signature in the next transfer window.

Phil Parkinson’s side are in the market for a number of attacking players this summer, regardless of whether their promotion dream is skewered.

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It appears increasingly likely that League One and League Two will be prematurely terminated due to the complications of hosting matches and training due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A final decision could be made by the EFL as early as tomorrow.

Mandron has scored six goals from 28 Gillingham appearances this season, including a two-goal salvo in their last fixture before football was suspended.

He has also had spells at Colchester United, Fleetwood Town, Hartlepool United, Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury Town as well as Sunderland.

Mandron emerged from the youth ranks at the Stadium of Light after being a prolific scorer at Under-18s and Under-23s level.

His 61 matches for Sunderland Under-23s yielded 22 goals and 10 assists.

In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips has tipped senior ace to quit amid pay cut fears.