SUNDERLAND are close to completing a loan deal for Liverpool youngster Tony Gallacher.

The 22-year-old left-back is set to agree the terms of a season-long loan at the Stadium of Light, although the Black Cats are also understood to have been exploring the possibility of a permanent deal for the defender.

Sunderland have spent the opening stages of their pre-season programme without a recognised left-back, with Callum McFadzean having left as a free agent at the end of last season and Denver Hume still to decide whether to take up the Wearsiders’ offer of a new deal.

It is still hoped that Hume will agree to extend his time with the Black Cats, but whatever his final decision, it was always Johnson’s intention to add at least one more recognised left-back to the squad.

Gallacher, a Scotland Under-19 international, fits that bill, even if he will head to Wearside with only limited senior experience.

The Glaswegian progressed through Falkirk’s academy, and made his senior debut in the Scottish Championship, only for Liverpool to snap him up for a reported fee of £200,000 in January 2018.

His sole senior appearance for the Reds came in a League Cup defeat to Aston Villa in 2019, with Jurgen Klopp opting to name a shadow side with his senior side competing in the World Club Championship, although he has spent three months on loan at MLS side Toronto FC.