McClean closes Twitter account
Sunderland midfielder James McClean has closed down his Twitter account after finding himself embroiled in further controversy.
Press Association Sport understands the Derry-born player made the move after sparking an angry response when he tweeted about a Wolfe Tones song, the Broad Black Brimmer, at the weekend. The song tells the story of a boy whose father is killed fighting for the IRA.
McClean's post attracted criticism from Gregory Campbell, DUP MP for East Londonderry, who advised the 23-year-old to "stick to football".
McClean has previously been abused on the social networking site after opting to play for the Republic of Ireland rather than Northern Ireland, and for his decision not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt.
He also landed himself in hot water with international manager Giovanni Trapattoni after expressing his disgust at being left out of the team for the Republic's World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan in September, and later issued an apology to the 73-year-old Italian.
Club boss Martin O'Neill has also been less than happy with the player's use of Twitter and will hope his latest withdrawal from the site is permanent.
Meanwhile, the agent of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has warned his client may have to move to realise his international ambitions.
The 24-year-old is currently back-up to Atletico Madrid's Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian national team, and his representative Guy Vandermissen hinted he could seek a higher-profile employer as he bids to establish himself as number one.
Vandermissen told Belgian broadcaster ATV: "Our ambition is for Simon to play somewhere that he can engage in competition with Thibaut Courtois for the place in goal for Belgium. Courtois is fortunate that he is playing for a team that has been doing well lately."
O'Neill will be desperate to retain the services of the former Sint-Truiden player, who has made the position at the Stadium of Light his own and has two years of his contract still to run. Keiren Westwood is an able deputy, but Mignolet's form has marked him out as one of the most accomplished goalkeeper in the Barclays Premier League this season.