JON McLAUGHLIN has left Sunderland and signed a two-year deal with Rangers, but Chris Maguire will remain on the Black Cats’ books next season after the triggering of a clause extending the forward’s contract by another 12 months.

McLaughlin’s departure was confirmed yesterday evening, with Rangers confirming they had signed the 32-year-old.

Blackburn Rovers offered the Scotland international a move to Ewood Park, but having decided to reject Sunderland’s offer of a new contract at the Stadium of Light, McLaughlin opted to head back to his homeland.

“It’s great to be back up here in Scotland,” said McLaughlin, who leaves Sunderland as a free agent after making 90 appearances for the club. “We are very proud to have made the deal happen, and I am really looking forward to getting back to football and starting my next chapter here with an amazing football club.”

Confirmation of Maguire’s retention is a welcome boost, with the forward having been a key performer under both Jack Ross and Phil Parkinson.

Maguire scored 11 goals in all competitions last season, and featured in all bar one of Sunderland’s league games. He is one of three strikers in the retained squad, with Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg also still on the Black Cats’ books. Aiden McGeady, who is currently on loan at Charlton Athletic, remains a Sunderland player as things stand, but is all-but-certain to head elsewhere permanently before the start of next season.

Parkinson is waiting to discover whether Tom Flanagan will resign for the club, while Benji Kimpioka is one of three Under-23 players deciding whether to remain with the Black Cats, with Brandon Taylor and Jordan Hunter also having been offered new deals.

Bailey Wright has returned to his parent club, Bristol City, following the end of his loan, but with his deal at Ashton Gate set to expire, the defender could yet return to Sunderland next season.