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Sep 20, 2012

McFadden could sign for Sunderland

James McFadden is in line for a short-term contract at Sunderland after joining the club on a one-week trial.

McFadden, 29, has been without a club since his contract at Everton expired at the end of last season and has since turned down moves to Motherwell and Aberdeen in the hope of staying in the Premier League.

Rob Segal, the player's agent, confirmed his client's desire to join the Black Cats and play under Martin O'Neill.

"He is training with Sunderland at the moment and hopefully he will join them if that is an option," Segal said. "It is a great club but I don't know where we stand at the moment. We will wait and see what happens over the next few days."

Midfielder David Vaughan faces a difficult task to reclaim a place in O'Neill's midfield after missing pre-season with injury. Vaughan, 29, completed 90 minutes for the club's under-21 side against Newcastle during the week.

"Pre-season was very frustrating for me," he told the Sunderland Echo. "I finished the season with the injury and, for one reason or another, it didn't get sorted during the summer break. It was tough to have the operation at that time, but I've just got to get back into it now.

"It is tough when you miss pre-season. You come back and the rest of the players are much further ahead fitness-wise. You're playing catch-up the whole time so you know it's going to be a couple of months down the line before you're at the same level. Players are playing for their place during pre-season as well and putting ideas in the manager's head. You miss that opportunity which can be frustrating. There's obviously quite a few central midfielders at the club and we've all got different attributes.

"I need a few more games. Tuesday was only my first full game. Hopefully I can get a few more 90 minutes in during the next few weeks. It was pleasing to be back on the pitch in a competitive game for Wales. I actually enjoyed playing the game, even though the result didn't go too well. It was mixed emotions really."

Meanwhile, defender Carlos Cuellar has been ruled out of Sunderland's trip to West Ham on Saturday. The former Aston Villa man picked up a hamstring strain against Liverpool and was replaced by Titus Bramble at half time.

"He complained about the hamstring tightening on him and that's why we didn't risk him in the second half," O'Neill said. "But the medics have confirmed it is a problem that will keep him out of this weekend."

The news follows confirmation from O'Neill that winger Adam Johnson is a doubt for the trip to Upton Park, after missing the games against Liverpool with a thigh strain.

"Adam was touch and go for last week and I'm afraid he'll be touch and go for this week," he added. "The up-side is that he's had a further week to recover but it is one of those where you leave it to the last minute and see how he is."

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