Sunderland are moving for former West Ham United captain Lucas Neill. The Sun says Black Cats boss Steve Bruce has resurrected his interest after the Aussie full-back's move to Atletico Madrid hit the rocks.

Bruce has already shelled out more than £30m on seven new recruits.

But he will ask billionaire backer Ellis Short to dip into his pocket again to fund an 18-month deal worth £3m to free agent Neill, 31.

Bruce needs cover at full-back after selling stand-in skipper Danny Collins and losing George McCartney for up to six weeks with hamstring trouble.

Bruce said: "As a manager I'm going to be judged on my dealings in the transfer market."

Meanwhile, understands Neill's move to Atletico was always a non-starter.

Atletico intermediaries insist the Australia captain was never under consideration this week.