PAOLO DI CANIO’s revelation in the Echo earlier this week that he was looking for two full-backs and a creative midfielder has made rumours surrounding anyone who doesn’t fit that mould slightly irrelevant.
But one player who has been linked with Sunderland this summer, John Guidetti (right), is going to be on the move.
Guidetti has been unable to participate in the Barclays Asia Trophy due to injury, not an encouraging sign for the 21-year-old after he missed all of last season through illness and then knee surgery.
But from deep in the bowels of the Hong Kong Stadium on Wednesday, it was learned that Guidetti will be leaving Manchester City on loan before the end of the transfer window, although it now looks unlikely that Sunderland will be his destination.
The departure of Danny Graham has left Di Canio with five strikers at his disposal – Steven Fletcher, Jozy Altidore, Stephane Sessegnon, Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won – the magic number he was looking to pick from.
There remains a possibility that one of those options could depart.
Sheffield Wednesday are keen on taking Wickham back to Hillsborough on loan, there is no lack of interest in Ji from the Bundesliga, and Sunderland have been willing to offload Sessegnon all summer.
But given Di Canio has already brought eight players in and wants three more, there has to be a sense that not every wish can be fulfilled.
Guidetti, the former client of Sunderland director of football Roberto De Fanti, is not short on friends in the Black Cats squad.
Seb Larsson is an international team-mate, while Guidetti came up against Altidore in Holland when he was on loan at Feyenoord.
But until January at least, the striker situation may have to wait.
STEPHANE SESSEGNON does not look to have taken umbrage at the speculation surrounding his future.
The Benin international was bright and sharp in the Hong Kong swamp against Spurs.
Given his complete absence from Sunderland’s pre-season last year and the subsequent problems that caused, Sessegnon looking lean and mean has to be encouraging.
But perhaps one factor which has helped the 29-year-old is the arrival of Cabral.
Sessegnon is a shy chap, who remains hesitant to converse in English, despite two-and-a-half years in the Premier League.
Yet he seems to have struck up an immediate bond with the arrival of a fellow French speaker.
If that helps Sessegnon (left) return to the consistency of 2011-12, then Di Canio does have a genuine battle for places up front on his hands.
AND as dreary as it seems, the final comment in the reflections from Hong Kong has to concern the weather.
If the Barclays Asia Trophy was being played aboard an ark and Noah was joining Martin Tyler in the commentator’s box, then perhaps the actual games in the tournament would have been less farcical.
But travelling to the Far East in rainy season always held obviously ludicrous risks.
Were these games actual Premier League fixtures, there would not be a chance that they would have gone ahead.
But the lure of the almighty dollar is the price you pay for playing a pre-season friendly in the South China Sea.