There was a time when Lee Cattermole had a pretty solid reputation in the Premier League and not just for amassing yellow cards.
Sunderland's midfield enforcer never possessed much natural talent, but his tenacity and leadership were key to their 10-year stay in the English top-flight.
Cattermole was a vital figure in eight of those seasons and was handed the captaincy in the 2013/14 season.
His presence was missed in the 2016/17 campaign when Sunderland were finally relegated, playing just eight times in total due to a serious injury.
He returned in 2017/18 and played 34 times, but couldn't stop the Black Cats dropping down to the third tier.
However, he did have his most productive Sunderland season ever attacking wise, scoring once and assisting five more - his previous best was zero goals and three assists in 2009/10.
And maybe it's those numbers - excuse the sarcasm - which has seen him linked with a very unexpected move abroad this summer.
As reported by The Guardian, Ligue 1 side Bordeaux and their new manager Gus Poyet have made the signing of Cattermole before the August 31 deadline a priority.
Sunderland are keen to sell the 30-year-old to get him off their books, as he still brings in around £25,000-a-week.
He took a 40% pay cut after relegation to League One, but his contract is still way too expensive for Jack Ross' side.
The whole deal is now reliant on how much Bordeaux want to contribute to Cattermole's wages, with his current Sunderland contract running out in 2021.
If the two clubs can strike a deal it will be completed, which is quite amazing.
Bordeaux finished sixth in Ligue 1 last season, qualifying them for the Europa League.
So there is a serious chance that we could be seeing Cattermole playing European football. What a footballing tale that is.
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