GUS POYET expects further additions to Sunderland’s squad before the start of the season.
Sunderland have signed six players this summer, yet Poyet is still keen to add another three or four fresh faces before the transfer window shuts on September 1.
The Black Cats have been heavily linked with a loan move for Manchester City midfielder Bruno Zuculini, while there were reports yesterday that they had seen a bid turned down for Leeds full-back Sam Byram.
Sunderland are also continuing to be patient in their lengthy pursuit of Fabio Borini after Liverpool accepted a £14million offer more than three weeks ago.
Poyet refused to be drawn on names after today’s final pre-season encounter against Udinese, but he did confirm that he envisages more signings before next Saturday’s Premier League opener against West Brom.
Asked whether more arrivals are likely this week, Poyet said: “Yes!
“I don’t want to say how many, because people will throw it back at me, but I am expecting more signings before the season starts.
“There’s no more news just yet though. We are still working on it.
“We are still a week away and the days go past quite quickly.
“I hope we can have some more news very soon.”
Sunderland rounded off their friendly programme with a 2-0 victory against Udinese after goals from Santiago Vergini and Connor Wickham.
And Poyet admits that several of those who featured against the Serie A outfit are still in contention to start at the Hawthorns.
“The idea is to work hard with the players we have got and make sure we are ready for next week,” added the head coach.
“My formation is not a secret.
“Like any other manager, I have six or seven players that I prefer and they will play if they are fit enough, and then there are three or four places up for grabs depending on how they train and how they perform.
“I have a few decisions to make - the goalkeeper is of course one.
“But there are others as well because it is about having the right balance.
“I like that situation though.
“If it was too easy to pick the team, that would mean I didn’t have many options.”
Meanwhile, Poyet confirmed that both Patrick van Aanholt and Charis Mavrias, who were withdrawn due to injuries, were only taken off as a precaution.
Poyet added: “Mavrias took a knock. I think it is not too bad, but we will check it tomorrow because you never know when it is the ankle bone.
“Patrick came off just as a precaution. It wasn’t a pull or anything, he was just uncomfortable. He was only due to play 45 or 60 minutes in any case.”