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Paddy McNair 'determined' to get back to Premier League as Sunderland reject £2m bid

By Gareth Hanna

Paddy McNair put in a man of the match performance during Northern Ireland's 0-0 draw with Panama overnight.

And that was just hours after his current club Sunderland had rejected a £2m bid from a Premier League club for the talented midfielder.

Brighton had an offer turned down for the Ballyclare man, who scored five Championship goals last season as his side were relegated to League One. The Sunderland Echo reports that McNair's current club viewed the bid as 'derisory'.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill backed the 23-year-old to succeed in England's top tier and said the player himself is keen on a swift return.

"I hope his club situation sorts itself out. I know what he is capable of," said O'Neill after the international friendly. "His running power and quality is evident to see, and he is so determined to get back to the Premier League and hopefully he gets that chance.

"Paddy was class tonight. Paddy McNair is a Premier League player.

"The reason he isn't is because of his injury. He joined Sunderland when they were in the Premier League. He then had a bad injury and Sunderland were relegated.

"But you've seen the quality in the last five or six games of the season. He scored four or five goals at the end of last season."

McNair came through the youth system at Manchester United but moved to the Stadium of Light in 2016. His 16/17 season ended in November with a nightmare knee ligament injury and his return to fitness is a huge boost to his national side, as he proved in Central America.

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