Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn was key in the deal for James McClean.

The Sunday Sun says Quinn stepped down as chairman in October to spend more time with his family and businesses in Ireland but one of his final acts was to bring his fellow countryman McClean to Wearside last summer.

He persuaded former boss Steve Bruce to sign McClean from Derry City for a bargain £350,000.

And the 22-year-old has turned out to be the find of the season, making a huge impact since Bruce's replacement Martin O'Neill blooded him in the first team two months ago.