By Wayne Veysey

5th Jul, 2021 | 4:24pm

Sources: Ex-Forest and Villa star Lichaj arrives at Sunderland as Johnson lines up offer

Former Aston Villa and Hull defender Eric Lichaj has arrived at Sunderland for a trial with a view to a permanent move, Football Insider understands.

The USA international, 32, is a free agent after leaving Turkish club Fatih Karagumruk but is only just back to fitness following four months out with a hip problem.

A Sunderland source has told Football Insider that manager Lee Johnson will run the rule over Lichaj at pre-season before deciding whether to offer him a contract.

The Black Cats regard the former Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest man as a potential top signing as he can play at both right-back and left-back.

Fellow full-backs Conor McLaughlin and Callum McFadzean were released by Sunderland this summer.

Right-back Tom Flanagan meanwhile has a year remaining on his Stadium of Light deal and could be pushed further down the pecking order if Lichaj signs.

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Lichaj spent 13 years in England after signing for Villa from American outfit Chicago Fire in 2007.

He was on the books for six years and made 42 appearances across all competitions during his time at Villa Park.

The 16-cap international also spent time on loan in the lower leagues with Lincoln City, Leyton Orient and Leeds United.

He later joined Forest where he would be turn out 190 times and be named Player of the Year at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

Lichaj signed for Hull in the summer of 2018 where he remained for another two seasons before leaving for Turkey.

In other news, Kevin Phillips predicts Sunderland player to take “huge wage cut” after confirmed news.