... Gus Poyet says he wants the former Man Utd star to be part of his long-term plans at Sunderland.
It is a remarkable turnaround for Bardsley, who was frozen out by former boss Paolo Di Canio last summer and at one point banned from the training ground.
Gus Poyet: “It was a shame Phil’s goal at Old Trafford wasn’t the winner in a way because that would have been a great story – with him being ex-Man United and the year he has had.
“But it was still an amazing evening for him and I think it was very emotional for him.
“He cares very much for the team and I know he cares for the club and the supporters too, whatever has been said.
“When I first joined, he was being held separate from the rest of the squad – I gave him a chance but he had to take it and he has done.
“Now he knows he has a real Premier League future, which is great, considering the situation he was in before.
“I would like to keep him at the club and I have told him so and I know he wants to stay too.
“So that is good news, it is a matter of agreeing where we are and doing that sort of thing, but I don’t want him to worry about his future.”