Kevin Nolan is set to be Sam Allardyce’s first Sunderland signing according to reports this morning.

The former Newcastle Captain is a free agent after agreeing his release from West Ham, after Allardyce left the London club last May.

Nolan was a big player and club captain for Allardyce when he was at Bolton Wanderers.

Both ended up at St James Park but Sam Allardyce was sacked after only seven months in the job, twelve months before Joe Kinnear signed Kevin Nolan during the chaotic relegation season of 2008/09.

Sunderland have yet again appointed a new manager only days before a derby match, with Allardyce taking charge for the West Brom away match next weekend, before his home debut against Newcastle a week later.

Whilst Sam Allardyce has a history with Newcastle it is a fractious one with fans, whilst he played for the Wearside club back in the day.

However, Kevin Nolan has very much nailed his colours to the Newcastle mast, both as a player when he scored four goals against Sunderland, as well as after he left – regularly speaking passionately about the club.

In advance of the final day match in May, Nolan all but said he wanted his West Ham side to get beat to ensure Newcastle stayed up.

Talking about the family and friends he has on Tyneside, plus the special fact that his son is a Geordie.

It would be a massive call for Kevin Nolan to join Sunderland but after Lee Clark made his move, I will never ever rule out anything.

This was what Kevin Nolan said to Sky Sports ahead of that final match last season:

“It will be emotional going back up there again, I have such a good rapport with all the fans. It’s going to be a bit of a strange one.

“We have got to do it properly and try and go for the win because we want to finish as high as possible, but it is such a shame, seeing it from the outside, seeing where they are again after what happened not so long ago.”

“It just shows how easy it is and how tough this league is that you can never ever rest on your laurels and you have to keep plugging away. I am hoping for the best for them, I must admit, for all of the great friends and family I have got up there.

“My little boy’s a Geordie, so I am hoping that it’s going to be OK, but we’ve just got to go there and be as professional as possible.”