Sam Allardyce hopeful of quick transfer breakthrough

Jan Kirchhoff
Jan Kirchhoff
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Sam Allardyce remains hopeful of an early breakthrough when the transfer window opens in less than 48 hours.

Allardyce is eager to bring in at least two fresh faces next month to boost Sunderland’s survival bid, with a centre-half and a centre-forward at the top of his hit-list.

The Sunderland boss has been spearheading the club’s attempts to bring in new blood over recent weeks, with potential recruits likely to come from the Continent, rather than domestic signings.

Allardyce has previously stressed the importance of bringing in players early on in the window with second bottom Sunderland’s plight so ominous, and he is confident of quick progress when the window opens on Friday.

Allardyce said: “We are active in trying to achieve what we want to.

“That’s not an easy task, but we are trying to acquire the players as quickly as possible.

“There’s nothing definite yet, though.”

Sunderland continue to be linked with Bayern Munich centre-half Jan Kirchhoff, who is out-of-contract with the Bundesliga champions at the end of the season.

Kirchhoff is one of a number of centre-halves that Sunderland have watched over recent weeks, with the Black Cats evidently in need of reinforcements in that area.

Lorient’s Lamine Kone and Schalke’s Joel Matip have also been on the club’s radar, particularly after target James Collins signed a new contract at West Ham last week.

Meanwhile, Italian side Roma have been linked with a move for Sunderland summer signing Jeremain Lens.

The Dutch international returned to the Sunderland squad in last weekend’s defeat at Manchester City after missing the previous game at Chelsea for disciplinary reasons.

Allardyce wants Lens to justify Sunderland’s investment in the 28-year-old during the summer, when they splashed out an initial £8million to Dynamo Kiev, which could eventually rise to £13m.

But if Lens wants to leave the Stadium of Light and Sunderland can recoup their outlay on him, then Allardyce will consider the winger’s future.