Chelsea could have signed Sunderland starlet

10:06 08 March 2012

Sunderland winger James McClean could have joined Chelsea

Sunderland winger James McClean could have joined Chelsea

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Chelsea transfer news: Blues had opportunity to sign James McClean

Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has revealed that Chelsea could have signed winger James McClean before the Black Cats.

The 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international has been a revelation of late for Martin O’Neil’s side, but according to Quinn, could have been turning out in the blue of Chelsea.

“The funny story about James McClean is Pop Robson, a very famous player for West Ham United, Newcastle United and Sunderland, was Chelsea’s scout for Ireland and Scotland,” Quinn told RTE.

“We poached him towards the end of August to come and work for Sunderland, and on his first day with Steve Bruce and I, he told us about this player he had been watching in Derry.

“He said Chelsea wouldn’t take a chance on him, and there were a couple of other clubs trying to sign him. He asked us to act quickly and it was only small money. Pop asked us to trust him on James. So it was really Pop who did it.”

McClean has made 14 appearances for Sunderland after joining from Derry in 2011.

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