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Scottish Mag

Mackems in for Barca pair

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New Sunderland manager Niall Quinn could be poised to make a double swoop on Spanish giants Barcelona.


The Black Cats have taken 20-year-old striker Oriel Riera on trial, while sources in the North East also claim the club are weighing up a move for Barca B team captain Arnau Caldentey.


24-year-old Caldentey, who has never featured for the Catalan side's first team, impressed Quinn during two days of training last week.


Sunderland will face competition from Hearts for Caldentey, with the Edinburgh club having also offered the player a trial.


Quinn, who is also running the rule over ex-Newcastle defender Robbie Elliott and Pasching goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, is hopeful of being able to take a closer look at the Barcelona pair in a forthcoming behind closed doors friendly.


"I'm still waiting to hear back from clubs," Quinn told the Sunday Sun. "We've got in touch with two of the clubs we are hoping to get players from and we hope to move it on more over the weekend."


While Quinn is on the lookout for new blood, the Irishman had words of praise for one of the players he inherited from the reign of Mick McCarthy.


Much maligned striker Jonathan Stead, struck the first goal in a 3-0 friendly win over Carlisle on Saturday, in Quinn's first match in charge, and the Irishman has backed the goal-shy striker to come good in The Championship.


"He led the line well and came up with a fine goal. You could see what it meant to him - he's alive and kicking now," added Quinn.


"He's a real talent. We know it's in there - it's all onwards and upwards for him now."

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