Sunderland needed some persuading to sign Irish sensation James McClean, it has been revealed.

The Daily Mail says it is thanks to Sunderland scout Pop Robson's persistence that manager Martin O'Neill is now benefitting from McClean's decision to turn his back on Wigan and Peterborough to join Sunderland.

His predecessor Steve Bruce, urged on by former chairman Niall Quinn, also paid the initial £350,000 to Derry.