Dick Advocaat believes Sunderland’s unwanted players will be pushed closer to the exit door by any further signings in the final three weeks of the transfer window.
Advocaat remains hopeful of adding to the five new arrivals at the Stadium of Light this summer, with an attacking midfielder and a targetman understood to be the priorities for the Sunderland head coach.
Sunderland remain at the front of the chase to sign Adnan Januzaj on loan after he was left out of Manchester United’s squad on the opening day of the season, with the Black Cats clearly in need of an injection of extra quality.
But Sunderland also need to ship out several players considered surplus to requirements, with the club close to the limits of the Premier League’s own restrictions on wages.
While Santiago Vergini and El-Hadji Ba have both been offloaded so far this summer, Sunderland are also keen to move on Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Valentin Roberge, Charis Mavrias and potentially one of strikers Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham.
Mavrias, Roberge and Buckley all featured for the Under-21s in Sunday’s win over Norwich, with scouts from Championship quartet Cardiff, Burnley, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield all present.
But rather than Sunderland selling before they buy, Advocaat believes it may take new arrivals for the squad to be trimmed of the dead-wood.
Advocaat told the Echo: “I always say, and maybe not everyone agrees with me, that if you bring players in, then some will go.
“As a player, if I’m happy here and no one comes in, then I think I’ll have a chance.
“Then they’re not going to go.
“But if we do bring players in, then some will go, with all respect to them, because they’re not going to get a chance.”
Last weekend’s opening day drubbing at Leicester reinforced the need for further spending before the end of the window, if Sunderland are to avoid participating in the thick of another relegation battle.
Sunderland’s investment of around £20million so far this summer has been modest, considering £9m has been recouped from the sale of Connor Wickham.
But while Advocaat is eager for additional signings, he points out that the club still have outstanding instalments to pay from previous transfers.
“The problem is we are still having to pay a lot of money for players who are not here anymore,” he added.
“It’s not a problem to be paying money for players who are still in the first-team.
“But we are still paying a fortune for players who are not here anymore. That is a shame, in my opinion.
“That makes it very difficult.”