Deadline Day: Sunderland set for busy end to January transfer window

Sunderland AFC manager Sam Allardyce

Sunderland AFC manager Sam Allardyce

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The smooth passage of Wahbi Khazri to the Stadium of Light has significantly eased the pressure on Sam Allardyce heading into deadline day.

Allardyce was eager to add a spark to his attacking options during the second half of the transfer window and by bringing in Khazri, it removes that element of desperation which can often linger as the cut-off point for fresh blood approaches.

Certainly, had Khazri not arrived then the 'will he, won't he' saga surrounding Andre Ayew would have persisted.

Ayew's name remains on the rumour mill after some less than subtle remarks from his agent, who claimed he was "surprised" that the Ghana international was still at Swansea.

But Sunderland are not expected to revive their interest in Ayew, even if he will inevitably be one to keep an eye on in the summer.

Khazri was the big money addition of the January window for Sunderland and is the one that Allardyce hopes can be the Black Cats' spark after the £5m investment in Lamine Kone boosted the Black Cats' defensive options earlier last week.

Despite the capture of fifth January signing Khazri though, deadline day is not expected to be graced by the sound of Wearside tumble-weed.

Sunderland remain on the look-out for one - or at a stretch, two - signings before 11pm, with any new arrivals likely to be on loan.

A right-back is one of Allardyce's remaining priorities, despite the presence of Billy Jones, DeAndre Yedlin and Adam Matthews on the club's books.

It's an area that Sunderland have been keen to strengthen throughout January.

At the end of a window which has seen Sunderland make significant progress in lessening the strain on the wage bill by offloading those considered surplus to requirements, there could be further departures too.

Allardyce has made no secret of his willingness to let Jordi Gomez leave the club after the Spaniard has clearly not been in the first-team picture over the last month.

Gomez was linked with a move to Serie A earlier in January, yet there has been precious little speculation over the ex-Wigan man over recent weeks.

Summer signing Matthews could also depart, if Sunderland manage to land that elusive right-back before the deadline, albeit the opening of the emergency loan window seven days later offers the Black Cats a further opportunity to shift those in reserve.

But both in and out of the Stadium of Light, deadline day promises an active one.