West Ham interested in bringing George McCartney back to Upton Park

Hammers want to sign Sunderland left back

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is interested in bringing former Hammer George McCartney back to the club.

The left back, who is currently contracted to Sunderland, has been told that he has no future at the north-east club and has been targeted as one of a number of players that can leave the Black Cats this summer.

With the Hammers only having one senior left back at the club in Herita Illunga, whose slip allowed Cardiff City to score last weekend, Allarydce is keen to bolster his defensive options.

It is not known at this stage whether West Ham are interested in a permanent deal for the 30-year-old, or a season-long loan, but a source has confirmed the Hammers’ interest.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce wants McCartney to move on, to free up some wage funds, and is even willing to let the Northern Irishman leave on a free transfer, despite having two years left to run on his five-year contract.

The left back started his career with Sunderland, before being signed for West Ham by Alan Pardew in 2006, to provide competition for Paul Konchesky in defence.

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However, when Konchesky left for Fulham, McCartney became a first-team regular for the Hammers under Alan Curbishley and featured heavily in West Ham’s great escape from relegation in 2007.

McCartney went on to make 61 appearances for the club, before being controversially sold on the last day of the summer transfer window in 2008 back to Sunderland for a fee reported to be between �6.5million and �7m.

The left back’s sale also led to the resignation of Curbishley as Hammers manager after he claimed the player was sold against his wishes.

On his return to the north-east, McCartney was a regular under Roy Keane, but a series of injuries when Bruce became manager saw the Northern Irishman fall out of favour and he lost his place in the team.

Last season, McCartney joined Leeds on loan in September and ended up spending the whole season with Simon Grayson’s side.

However, the left back’s time at Elland Road didn’t pass without incident, when McCartney was openly criticised and fined by Leeds chairman Ken Bates for turning up late to training.