Bruce: We’ll take it to the limit on deadline day

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Sunderland will battle all the way to the transfer deadline to strengthen their squad this week, says manager Steve Bruce.

The transfer window close at 11pm on Wednesday and the Black Cats are looking at a host of options that could reinforce them up front.

Saturday’s goalless Premier League draw against Swansea City will only have re-emphasised to Bruce that he needs further options.

And Niall Quinn’s absence from the game at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday was taken as evidence that the chairman is trying to make it happen.

Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy, Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner and Wolfsburg’s Patrick Helmes are all players Sunderland are looking at, although all are looking long shots at the moment.

Bellamy has been linked with Spurs and Liverpool, while Bendtner has been mooted as a potential makeweight in Arsenal’s interest in Everton midfield star Mikel Arteta – though the Liverpool Echo today reported that the Toffees would not interested in such a deal.

The name of Spurs’ forward Peter Crouch has once again been thrown into the mix – possibly in a swap deal for Asamoah Gyan. Jermain Defoe is another Sunderland have been linked, too, though wages would be a sticking point.

But the one thing Bruce wants to do before the deadline expires is bring in a forward who can turn around Sunderland’s fortunes in front of goal – accepting that the lack of goals is a concern after just one in four games so far.

He said: “We’ve brought in Ji and Wickham as players for the future – we were delighted to have the opportunity to get players of their potential in – but we won’t see the best of them for a year to 18 months.

“In the meantime, we need a bit extra up front.

“If we’re honest, we’ve been lacking a bit in that department since Darren Bent left in January and we know that.

“So we’ll be doing all we can to bring someone in in the next few days – we just have to wait and see what happens and whether anything can be done.”

In the meantime, Bruce is having to put up with the frustration of seeing his team play well enough to win games but not be able to clinch them.

“We’ve had disappointments in the last three games, but we’ve created enough in all three to win every one of those games.

“All in all, it has been a frustrating and difficult and disappointing week.”

H Sunderland U18s endured a disappointing 3-2 defeat at home to West Ham in their first home match of the FA Premier Academy League season on Saturday, going down to a hat-trick from Elliott Lee, son of ex-Magpie Robert Lee.

James Brace and Anthony Callaghan, with a superb free-kick, netted for the Wearsiders.

H Join live, interactive coverage of deadline day on sunderlandecho.com from 8am on Wednesday.