SUNDERLAND officials have told the Charlton Athletic hierarchy they are willing to discuss turning Aiden McGeady’s current loan deal into a permanent transfer to the Valley if the winger impresses in the next three months.

Having been frozen out of the first-team picture at the Stadium of Light, McGeady agreed a loan move to Charlton in the final 24 hours of the transfer window.

The Addicks are understood to be paying around half of the Irishman’s wages for the remainder of the campaign, but as things stand, there is not a clause in place that would automatically result in a permanent transfer this summer.

McGeady’s contract on Wearside is not due to expire until the summer of 2021, but the Sunderland hierarchy have already indicated a desire to discuss a possible permanent arrangement if things go well in the next few months.

Phil Parkinson has made it clear there is no prospect of McGeady returning to the first-team fold with Sunderland, even if he rediscovers his best form in the Championship with Charlton.

The Black Cats boss banished McGeady to Sunderland’s Under-23s set-up after a major fall-out in the wake of December’s defeat to Gillingham. He was unhappy with a perceived lack of professionalism from the 33-year-old, who was controversially pictured alongside team-mate Chris Maguire at a McDonald’s restaurant a matter of hours after the Black Cats had lost at the Priestfield Stadium.

Parkinson is also understood to have questioned McGeady’s approach to training on more than one occasion, but Charlton boss Lee Bowyer did not hesitate when he was offered the chance to sign the Irish international.

McGeady was an unused substitute as Charlton beat Barnsley last weekend, but is set to make his Addicks debut in Saturday’s game at Stoke City.

“I had no doubts about him at all,” said Bowyer. “Whatever happens at other clubs is nothing to do with what is going to happen at our club. He was one of the best players in League One last season.

“When they (Sunderland) played at our place, he was their biggest threat. He scores goals and gets assists, and can just make something happen out of nothing.

“He’ll be a good addition to our squad, and he’ll bring us something a little different to what we’ve got. He can play out wide, or he can play as a number ten.”

Meanwhile, Nathan Harker has returned to Newcastle United, with Sunderland’s coaching staff still deciding whether to offer the goalkeeper a contract on Wearside after a trial with the Black Cats’ Under-23s.

Harker, who has been told he is being released from Newcastle at the end of the season, played in Sunderland’s Premier League Cup matches against Huddersfield Town and Wigan Athletic.

Sunderland Under-23s boss Elliott Dickman will discuss Harker’s position with Parkinson, with the pair currently mulling over their options when it comes to academy recruitment for the summer.