By Wayne Veysey

8th Jan, 2021 | 7:00am

Announcement soon: Sunderland agree first January signing - Exclusive

Sunderland have agreed to sign Forest Green midfielder Carl Winchester, Football Insider understands.

The League One giants have had a bid accepted by the League Two outfit for the central midfielder, 27, and he is set to become their first January signing.

A Sunderland source has told Football Insider that the terms have been agreed for the transfer of Winchester and the deal is set to be announced soon.

It will reunite Lee Johnson with a player he managed during his two-year spell at Oldham Athletic that ended in 2015.

Winchester is heading to Sunderland for what is an undisclosed fee but not expected to be a significant one.

The Northern Ireland international has six months left on his Forest Green contract, which expires at the end of June.

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Sunderland are expected to be quite active in the January window as they step up their promotion pursuit.

The third-tier giants are 11th in the division but only three points behind sixth-placed Charlton Athletic.

Winchester will bring proven lower league calibre and experience to Sunderland and, crucially, is regarded by Johnson as a player he can rely upon.

The midfielder has one full cap for Northern Ireland, which came against Wales in May 2011.

He has played 112 times for Forest Green and has weighed in with 11 goals and five assists.

Winchester also racked up 141 appearances for Oldham as well as a further 70 at Cheltenham Town.

Sunderland are looking to strengthen this month but their business will be limited by the salary cap and squad number restrictions.

In other news, Sunderland are preparing a bid for top-flight 26-year-old defender who is out of contract at the end of the season.