REPORTS from the north east suggest that Sunderland are set to appoint Paul Reid as their new academy manager.

The former defender was head of recruitment and football administrator at Eastleigh last season after calling time on his playing career.

His move to the Stadium of Light would see him follow in the footsteps of ex-Spitfires owner/chairman Stewart Donald who relinquished control of the National League club in order to take over the Black Cats.

Reid, 36, looks set to replace Jimmy Sinclair, who left the Sunderland academy post shortly after Donald’s takeover of the League One outfit had been confirmed.

Born in Carlisle, Reid played professionally for Northampton, Barnsley, Colchester and Scunthorpe before signing a two-year deal for Eastleigh in 2014.

He briefly left the Stoneham Lane club for Whitehawk, where he went on to player-manage, before returning to Eastleigh towards the end of 2016/17.