Former Sunderland defender Joel Lynch admits his move to Wearside did not 'go to plan' and has opened up on the harsh reality of being a free agent in a Covid-affected market.

The 32-year-old defender joined the Black Cats last summer following a three-year spell at Queens Park Rangers.

However, injuries dogged his brief stint at the Stadium of Light and the centre-back was one of six senior players released this summer.

Three months on from his release, Lynch remains without a club although he claims he has received offers from clubs abroad.

The one-cap Wales international however is determined to finish his career in England, and is confident he can still cut it at Championship level.

Lynch told Planet Football: “It’s tough because I’ve got a little boy, we’re quite settled and I still feel that I’m good enough to play in England.

"But if the opportunity came where you were offered a ridiculous amount of money then you’d have to do it, even if it’s just for a year or two.

“That said, I still feel like I’ve got unfinished business here and want to finish my career in England to be honest.

“Last season didn’t really go to plan for me. I think I left QPR when perhaps I shouldn’t have, and sadly that had a lot to do with money and their club budget, but then I joined Sunderland who are obviously a massive club.

Sunderland's Joel Lynch
Sunderland's Joel Lynch

“I think if I was fully fit I could definitely still play in the Championship and that was the intention joining Sunderland in League One.”

Lynch has previously spoken of his regret at turning down a two-year deal at Sunderland, and is now one of hundreds of free agents trying to find a new club in an uncertain market.

The 32-year-old has taken to LinkedIn in an attempt to earn a new deal, and has outlined how the ongoing financial ramifications of Covid-19 have made clubs reluctant to make moves in the market.

Lynch explained: “It’s so tough. Normally, offers have been coming in while I’m still under contract.

"This year, clubs aren’t making firm offers to anyone, they’re asking you to come in and train so they can assess you against their budget, sell players and get them out before they bring people in. It’s so much stricter.

“In my position, I know clubs have their transfer targets and budgets, but they’re likely looking for younger players on smaller contracts, rather than an experienced player like myself with Championship and international experience.

"League One and Two are just really tough because even if someone was asking for £1,000-a-week, they just won’t do that."