Kevin Phillips has tipped Sunderland to reward Lee Burge with a new contract this year.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend said the 28-year-old has been “brilliant” at times this season and “deserves a crack at the Championship” if the Black Cats gain promotion.

Burge produced an eye-catching display on Saturday, as Lee Johnson’s side remained on course for promotion with a 1-1 draw with Lincoln City.

The Englishman has kept 19 clean sheets in 32 appearances across all competitions this season – no goalkeeper boasts more in League One.

However, Burge’s future at the Stadium of Light is far from certain as he is one of a number of senior players out of contract at the end of this season.

When asked for his assessment of Burge’s future on Wearside, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I think the club will reward him with a new contract.

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“I think he deserves the opportunity to be their number one next season, whether that be in the Championship or League One.

“Yes, he has made a couple of mistakes but name me a goalkeeper in English football who has not made a mistake this season.

“He has been more consistent of late and when I have seen him recently he has pulled off some brilliant saves.

“I think he deserves a crack at the Championship next year if they get promoted.”

In other news, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich are in a race to sign St Johnstone  forward Guy Melamed ahead of the summer transfer window.