BURY have trimmed their wage bill by allowing forward Chris Maguire to join Sunderland on a two-year contract.

The Shakers signed the 29-year-old on a free transfer from Oxford last summer and made him one of their highest earners.

He was one of several players who arrived on two-year deals last year but finished the season surplus to requirements as Bury were relegated to League Two.

Maguire had been one of the most prolific forwards in League One the previous season, scoring 17 goals as Oxford reached the EFL Trophy final and just missed out on the play-offs.

Sunderland are now adjusting to life in the third tier after suffering back-to-back relegations and, given his record at that level, they see Maguire as a suitable addition. Maguire started last season as first choice under Lee Clark but missed a penalty during the opening-day victory over Walsall.

The Scot ended up scoring just two goals from 29 appearances for Bury, although 13 of those were as a substitute.

Maguire fell out of favour under Clark’s successors Chris Lucketti and Ryan Lowe, and he did not feature in the last eight games of the season.

It is understood manager Lowe even told Maguire to stay away from the training ground.

Lowe last week followed up the capture of Chris Dagnall by making Will Aimson his fourth summer signing.

The 24-year-old defender joined Blackpool from Hull in November 2015 and arrives at Gigg Lane on a two-year contract.

Aimson started Blackpool’s League Two play-off final victory over Exeter in 2017, along with current Bury players Tom Aldred and Neil Danns.

Aimson made 13 starts as Blackpool finished 12th in League One last term so is keen to establish himself in the starting line-up once more.

Lowe said: “He’s got leadership credentials and he’s come from a league above having helped Blackpool gain promotion from the division we’re in.

“From his point of view, he didn’t play enough games last season. The minute I spoke to Will, he wanted to come and play for this club.

“He had other offers but such was his desire to play for us he chose to hold out, and I’m glad he’s chosen us.”

Sporting director Lee Dykes added: “He is a player we are taking in at a very good age having just turned 24 and he has had recent success gaining promotion out of League Two.”