SUNDERLAND have taken Dutch goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter on trial in an attempt to assess his fitness, and could even involve him in tomorrow’s friendly at Bradford City.

Ruiter is a free agent having been released by Eredivisie side Utrecht at the end of last season, and Black Cats boss Simon Grayson is keen to see him at first hand before deciding whether to offer him a contract on Wearside.

Grayson, who is also interested in West Ham’s Robert Green, is keen to sign two goalkeepers this summer, with Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone both having left the Stadium of Light since the end of last season.

Ruiter, who is 30, has been heavily linked with Belgian side Zulte Waregem, but Sunderland have persuaded him to travel to England for a series of assessments.

He missed a large chunk of last season through injury, but is keen to get his career back on track, having previously caught the eye of PSV Eindhoven.

His agent, Dick van Burik, has confirmed his arrival in England, and is hoping the move will lead to a permanent contract.

“The club (Sunderland) wants to see how fit he is,” said van Burik. “Robbin has not really played for six months because of injury.

“Hopefully, he will make a positive impression at Sunderland. He has spent a lot of years at Utrecht, but now he wants a foreign adventure. Sunderland could be a wonderful new chapter in his career.

While Sunderland have made some progress in their search for a goalkeeper, they have been forced to admit defeat in their pursuit of Max Gradel, with the Bournemouth winger on the verge of joining French side Toulouse.

Black Cats boss Simon Grayson worked with Gradel during the pair’s time together at Leeds United, and had been keen to add the 29-year-old to his squad at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland officials contacted their counterparts at Bournemouth to offer the terms of a proposed season-long loan, but their interest was rebuffed.

The Black Cats were willing to consider a proposal to include a clause that would have paved the way for a permanent deal at the end of next season, but Toulouse are understood to have tabled a more attractive offer.

The Ligue 1 side, who recently sold Martin Braithwaite to Middlesbrough for £9m, are also keen to initially take Gradel on loan, but are willing to commit themselves to a more expensive deal in 12 months’ time.

That is more appealing to the Bournemouth hierarchy, with Gradel having signed a new four-year deal at the Vitality Stadium a year ago, and Sunderland are resigned to having to look elsewhere as they attempt to add to their attacking options.