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Sunderland’s Pickford: “I would never” play for Newcastle

Stoke City v Sunderland - Premier League

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in action during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Sunderland at Bet365 Stadium on October 15, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Jordan Pickford is going to be a man in-demand if he chooses to leave Sunderland this summer.

The England U-21 keeper has been one of few shining lights for the Black Cats in their moribund season, and has not ruled out helping Sunderland’s quest for Premier League promotion next season.

[ MORE: The way back for Sunderland ]

Teammate Jermain Defoe has been linked with PL moves including one to Tyne-Wear Derby rivals Newcastle United, and ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback made the move, but that’s literally a bridge too far for Pickford.

From The Express:

“Jack’s playing on the other side of the water these days unfortunately. I would never do that,” Pickford said. “I couldn’t do it myself. I would never go to Newcastle.

"[Leaving Sunderland] is not something I’ve looked at yet and it’s not something I want to look at either.”

Colback was a Newcastle United supporter as a kid before joining Sunderland’s academy at age 10, so Pickford is obviously a different story. One of the many shames regarding Sunderland’s relegation is another year without a league derby against Newcastle United.

Thank goodness Pickford gave us a little bitter reminder of the feud, though we’re wondering how he’ll feel if Rafa Benitez lodges the biggest bid for his services. Easier said than done, Jordan.

Follow @NicholasMendola