SUNDERLAND will allow Aiden McGeady to spend the final year of his Black Cats contract on a loan deal away from the Stadium of Light if they are unable to set up a permanent departure for the winger this summer.

McGeady, who is currently on loan at Championship side Charlton Athletic, has one more year of his contract on Wearside to run, but there is no realistic prospect of him returning to play in a Sunderland shirt next season.

Having fallen out with Phil Parkinson prior to his loan departure in January – McGeady was training with Sunderland’s youth team before moving to the Valley – the 34-year-old has effectively burned his bridges with the Black Cats boss.

The former Republic of Ireland international is understood to be the highest-paid player currently on Sunderland’s books, and Parkinson would rather spend McGeady’s salary elsewhere as he looks to remodel his squad this summer.

However, given McGeady’s age, clubs in both the Championship and League One will be reluctant to offer the veteran a long-term deal on the same wages he is currently earning at Sunderland.

In that scenario, Parkinson would push for a season-long loan deal rather than find himself having to accommodate McGeady back into his squad.

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer would be interested in re-signing the winger for next season, although any move would be dependent on the Addicks retaining their Championship status in the next four matches, something that is far from guaranteed given how tight things are at the bottom of the second tier.

McGeady was an unused substitute as Charlton suffered a damaging 2-1 defeat at Brentford on Tuesday night, but Bowyer has been impressed with the forward’s attitude and physical wellbeing since the end of the footballing lockdown.

“He’s come back and he’s in better shape,” said the Charlton boss. “We got him in January and, physically, he didn’t really look up to speed.

“He’s worked really hard and bought in to what I want. He’s definitely a player who can make something happen out of nothing.”

Parkinson intends to hold talks with McGeady and his representatives once Charlton’s season finishes later this month.