Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley has suffered a major injury, which will rule him out for at least 10 weeks of the new Premier league campaign. Even more than the injury, manager Paolo Di Canio will be worried about the player being sold. Bardsley has been linked with a move away from Sunderland in the last few weeks.

The likes of Fulham, Blackburn, and Newcastle United have been showing interest in the player. The transfer window is set to end in the next couple of weeks, and it looks like the player will stay at the Stadium of Light until January.

The defender certainly does not figure in the plans of the manager, but the club needed to sell him in order to raise money for new players. The defender has been training with the reserves in the last few weeks. He was also left out of the pre-season tour of the first team.

Instead, he was involved in the pre-season developed for the reserve team. The player has suffered a broken foot in the match against Bolton under 21s. He was forced to leave the field at half-time. This injury news, though, will come as good news for Newcastle United fans, who have not been happy with their club being linked with a Sunderland player.

Meanwhile, defender John O’Shea has hailed the presence of manager Di Canio, who has been unwilling to rest his players in the pre-season.

“We’ve put in a lot of graft and some of the pre-season performances have been really positive. The acid test comes when the ­Premier League starts, but hopefully this squad is better balanced than last year with better options. There is so much more competition for places,” said the former United defender. Sunderland’s first match of the season will be against Fulham at home.