Former Bristol City defender linked with reunion with Lee Johnson at Sunderland

Lee Johnson has been linked with an ambitious swoop for one of his lieutenants from his day at Bristol City

<p>Lee Johnson took Bristol City to a Carabao Cup semi-final and two top-half finishes. (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)</p>

Lee Johnson took Bristol City to a Carabao Cup semi-final and two top-half finishes. (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Bristol City defender Aden Flint has been linked with a reunion with Lee Johnson at Sunderland.

Flint, who was a Robin for five years, currently plays for Severnside rivals Cardiff City but has attracted the interest of the League One outfit, who want to assemble a squad capable of returning to English football’s second tier.

They are currently second in the division in what is a tightly-contested division and a coup in the form of Flint, who has experienced of winning a title at that level, may be needed to get them over the line.

A move to the Stadium of Light would come as a surprise as the centre-back has appeared 22 times for the Bluebirds and has featured regularly under their manager Steve Morison, though his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

A report from Football League World says that the Black Cats are contemplating a move for him and Lee Johnson knows too well what kind of player he would be getting.

Aden Flint played in a defence that shut out one of the world’s most expensive strikers in Romelu Lukaku. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The 32-year-old played two-and-a-half seasons under Johnson and was part of the side that reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, scoring against eventual winners Manchester City.

His performances were recognised by the club in that as he was named Player of the Year as City avoided the drop.

He would later be sold to Championship rivals Middlesbrough for a fee expected to be around £7m but his stay at the Riverside Stadium was cut one-year into his four-year contract.

Flint was allowed to leave Cardiff City who had just been relegated from the Premier League and he would link up with the likes of Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Lee Tomlin and eventually Marlon Pack, who made the move in the same window.

Unfancied by Neil Harris after the departure of Neil Warnock, who left his role after defeat to City in the Derby, he was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday but returned after a hamstring injury.

He would be given a new lease of life when Mick McCarthy replaced Harris in January 2021 and became somewhat of a goalscoring sensation for Cardiff in the early part of this season as he scored two braces in the first two weeks of the season.

Despite now turning out for the Welsh side, who are bitter rivals of City and the two will meet again at Ashton Gate next Saturday, Flint holds his former club in high regard.

Speaking to Robins fan site ‘The Exiled Robin’ back in April 2020, he wanted fans to remember the memories such as the League One and EFL Trophy double in 2015.

“Obviously, people aren’t going to like me now because I play for a rival club,” he said.

“But I don’t want people to forget the great times we had together.

“For 90 minutes when we play against each other we are rivals. Fans can treat me as a rival. But after that I’d like to think that a mutual respect still remains?

“I have to say I’ve always had a great reception from City fans. Football is everything to people and I can fully understand how it makes people so emotional.”