SWANSEA CITY are confident of outbidding Sunderland for Lynden Gooch – and are set to hold formal talks with the American’s representatives in the next few days.

Gooch is currently a free agent after his contract at the Stadium of Light expired at the start of this month.

The Black Cats have offered the 26-year-old a new deal, along with Bailey Wright and Patrick Roberts, but are yet to reach an agreement with the versatile defender, who can also play in midfield or as a wing-back.

Gooch has spent his entire career with Sunderland, having initially started training at the club’s academy at the age of ten, and expressed a desire to remain on Wearside in the immediate aftermath of last month’s play-off final victory over Wycombe.

However, his free-agent status means he is in demand, with Swansea leading a batch of Championship clubs who have expressed an interest in securing his services.

The Swans need a player capable of filling the wide positions, with Cyrus Christie and Hannes Wolf both having left since the end of last season.

Gooch’s versatility is understood to be of particular appeal to Swans boss Russell Martin, and the Welsh club are expected to offer more than the proposal that is currently on the table from the Black Cats.

That will give Gooch a difficult decision to make, with his obvious emotional attachment to the Black Cats having to be balanced against the potential to secure higher wages or a longer-term contract elsewhere.

Swansea finished 15th in the Championship table last season, and are set to experience a major overhaul of their squad this summer.

Preston have also been linked with a possible move for Gooch, but at this stage, their interest in securing a deal is at a much more formative stage.

Meanwhile, defender Kenton Richardson has joined newly-promoted National League side Gateshead following his release from Sunderland at the end of last season. Richardson played for the Black Cats’ first team in last term’s Papa John’s Trophy.