We profile three players with a foot in either camp.
Felling-born winger Chris Waddle was one of the north east’s great footballing products after progressing through the ranks at Newcastle United.
The England international - a boyhood Sunderland fan - spent five years on Tyneside.
After playing over 170 games for the Magpies, Waddle joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1985, where he played over 130 games as well as being an FA Cup runner-up.
In 1989, Waddle sought a move abroad to play in European club competition, and he joined French giants Marseille for a fee of £4.5m – the third highest fee ever for a footballer at the time.
It was during his time with Marseille that Waddle was prominent in England’s 1990 World Cup campaign.
He was also part of the Marseille side that reached the 1991 European Cup final – losing to Red Star Belgrade on penalties.
Waddle left Marseille in 1992 and spent four years with Sheffield Wednesday before moving to Falkirk, Bradford City and then his boyhood club in 1997.
The England international scored in the final league game to be played at Roker Park – a 3-0 win over Everton in which Allan Johnston and Paul Stewart also netted.
He left at the end of the 1997 season to become player-manager at Burnley before spells with Torquay United and Worksop.
A popular figure on Wearside, the enigmatic Belgian began his career with French side Lyon, for whom he made 77 appearances.
He joined Fulham in 2001 and was a key figure in midfield for the Cottagers, scoring 10 goals in his first season and establishing a reputation as one of the league's most entertaining players.
Malbranque’s £5m fee proved a snip as he made more than 200 appearances in a Fulham shirt in all competitions before moving to Tottenham in August 2006.
Almost two years at the Lane produced 96 appearances and 12 goals, with six of those coming in the league.
Roy Keane swooped to sign Malbranque, as well as Spurs team-mate Pascal Chimbonda, in July 2008 and the fleet-footed midfielder went on to establish himself as a key figure.
Never short of a bamboozling trick or two, he made 112 appearances for the Black Cats in all before leaving the club on a free transfer at the end of the 2010-11 season.
A brief spell with Saint-Etienne was followed by a return to Lyon in August 2012, with Malbranque’s form prompting calls in some quarters for a call-up to the French national squad, whom the midfielder had previously represented at U21 level.
After starting his career with FC Haka in his native Finland, Teemu Tainio joined French Ligue 1 club Auxerre.
The Finnish international played over 200 times for Auxerre where he won the Coupe de France twice and also gained UEFA Champions League experience.
He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2005 after his contract at Auxerre ran out and he played over 60 games in three years in North London, winning the League Cup, before moving to Sunderland in 2008.
Tainio played 23 times for the Black Cats, scoring once in a League Cup win at Norwich, before moving to Ajax in 2010 after a loan spell with Birmingham.