By Kevin Phillips

26th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

Sunderland told to finalise signing of promotion winner Gabriel after approach made - Kevin Phillips

Jordan Gabriel could be an “ideal” signing for Sunderland as back-up for Luke O’Nien at right-back.

That is according to Black Cats legend Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 22-year-old Nottingham Forest defender.

This site first broke news on 21st July that Sunderland had joined Blackpool in the race to sign Gabriel on a permanent deal.

Gabriel, who won promotion from League One on loan at Blackpool in 2020-21, has three years remaining on his Forest contract.

Phillips argues that O’Nien should remain Sunderland’s first-choice right-back next term but that Gabriel would make a “solid” stand-in option.

“Trying to bring in that solid right-back would be good,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

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“Of course, they have Luke O’Nien. It will be interesting to see where he decides to play him going into the season.

“O’Nien would be your first-choice right-back. Whether he’s going to go into the season with him as a centre-half, it’s hard to say at the moment.

“But I think you do definitely need cover in that position as we showed last year when we had a couple of injuries.

“A player with experience would be ideal so he could be a good signing for Sunderland if they can get it done.”

Gabriel featured 27 times for Blackpool last term as they secured promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.

All-rounder O’Nien meanwhile made 38 appearances for Sunderland at right-back, centre-back, right midfield and centre midfield.

In other news, pundit predicts Lingard-like ace who shone at Sunderland last season to join new team.