Sunderland have failed with a bid for West Ham defender George McCartney.

BBC Sport says West Ham have turned down an improved £4.5m offer from Sunderland for Northern Ireland defender McCartney.

The 27-year-old full-back joined the Upton Park club from Sunderland in 2006 in a four-year deal worth £1m.

The Hammers paid £600,000 for McCartney in a swap deal which saw Clive Clarke moving in the opposite direction.

McCartney is a former Black Cats captain and played 157 times for the team in an eight-year spell.