Dick Advocaat frustrated by transfer progress, with Sunderland needing more signings

Manager Dick Advocaat on the sidelines during the game against Leicester City. Picture by FRANK REID
Manager Dick Advocaat on the sidelines during the game against Leicester City. Picture by FRANK REID
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Dick Advocaat is growing frustrated by the stop-start nature of Sunderland’s bid to add to their squad before the end of the transfer window.

Advocaat has made it crystal clear that Sunderland must make a couple of “quality” signings over the remaining 16 days of the window, particularly after the news that Adam Johnson faces six weeks on the sidelines, albeit the diagnosis is better than first feared on the winger.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat

Sunderland made an enquiry for former loanee Fabio Borini this week after learning of the lay-off facing Johnson.

But the move for Borini remains in the early stages, while the Black Cats’ pursuit of Adnan Januzaj on loan has rolled on for more than a fortnight, with Manchester United dragging their heels until they can complete the £20million signing of Barcelona’s Pedro.

Sunderland’s hopes of signing Januzaj didn’t improve last night when he scored the winner for Man United at Aston Villa.

Head coach Advocaat is weary of the daily rollercoaster in the transfer market and is longing for the conclusion of the window, when he hopes to be able to oversee a more balanced squad.

We’ll be so happy on September 1, because things here change every day

Dick Advocaat

Advocaat said: “I still think we desperately need another couple of players in.

“We’ll be so happy on September 1, because things here change every day.

“(At the moment) it’s a ‘yes’, a ‘no’, another ‘no’ and then a ‘maybe’ every day.”

Advocaat was coy on the current state of play regarding Sunderland’s targets at his pre-match press conference yesterday, and would not be drawn on either Januzaj or Borini. But the implication was clear that Sunderland owner Ellis Short needs to sanction a couple of signings after the club’s spending has been modest so far this summer.

Sunderland have splashed out more than £15m to bring five new signings to the Stadium of Light, yet they recouped £9m from the sale of striker Connor Wickham.

The majority of the squad being presided over by Advocaat is the one which narrowly avoided relegation last season and the former Holland manager doesn’t want to experience similar this time around after last weekend’s opening day drubbing at Leicester.

“Last season, Leicester finished the season with eight wins, one draw and one defeat from the last 10 games,” said Advocaat.

“We couldn’t do that. We are starting from a lower level.

“And everyone, including the owner, has to understand that.

“If we have a good team, you only have to buy one or two good players.

“And that’s the biggest problem.”