David Moyes is hoping Sunderland’s high profile in the Championship will allow him to land top transfer targets this summer.
The Black Cats boss has been frustrated by an inability to convince players to come to Wearside since taking the reins last summer, increasing his dependence on loan players and free transfers.
As Sunderland adjust their targets for life in the second tier, Moyes hopes the Stadium of Light can be a big draw for aspiring players.
The key will be building a squad with the right blend of youth and experience as the club look to end years of failure in the transfer market. Talent-spotter Rob Mackenzie has been working in a consultancy capacity for a while ahead of what it is likely to be a hectic and critical summer.
Moyes said: “Sunderland will be the biggest club in Championship, and that should help us attract players.
“There are different parts to it - if you buy youngsters, there are no guarantees; if you buy senior players they help you initially but you don’t get resale value - all these things are part of it.
“We have to look and see what is the best way to do it.
“The club’s position over the last few years has meant that sometimes we have not been able to get the top player off the shelf.”
One of the key challenges for Sunderland this summer will be to bring an unsustainable wage bill under control.
The Black Cats most recent accounts showed that in the 2015/16 season, Sunderland’s bill had reached an eye-watering £83 million.
Moyes confirmed that wages will automatically drop as a result of clauses in player contracts, but admits it will still be a factor in Sunderland’s summer business.
He reiterated that getting better value for money, through ‘robust’ players for the long Championship season, would be crucial.
Moyes said: “The wage bill is big, and it will be a problem next year too because it will affect what we are able to do.
“But what we need is players who are robust.
“If we are going to play 45-50 games next year, you need players who are able to play the majority of those.
“You need players who give you value for money by playing Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday nearly every week,” he added.
“Getting the wage bill down is something that will happen because everybody has that in their contract anyway.
“But it will still mean that our wage bill is high for the division, so that will need to be kept down as well.”