Simon Grayson: 'Better players becoming available' as Sunderland brace for busy week

Grayson expects to be busy next week
Grayson expects to be busy next week
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Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has predicted one of the busiest ever conclusions to a transfer window next week, for Sunderland and clubs across the country.

Grayson is still trying to make additions to his squad and his also braced for bids for the likes of Didier Ndong, Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri.

He expects to be busy right until the end of the transfer window, previously pointing out that his limited financial power in the market means deals are harder and take longer to conclude.

His loan pursuit of Ross McCormack is a case in point, with talks continuing but Aston Villa only likely to let him depart if they can bring in attackers themselves, the Villains currently winning the race to sign another Black Cats target, Robert Snodgrass.

They are also likely to hold out for a bigger financial commitment from another club, while Grayson himself is aware that other targets may become available in the final days of the window as Premier League sides complete their business.

McCormack is one of a number of targets as the Black Cats boss prepares to enter the market.

He said: "I think we’ve had a good start, we’re strong enough. Have we got that real strength in depth yet? Probably not. Duncan and Paddy will help that, Maja will be back in a few weeks. We’re still trying to bring players into the group, we’re in a decent position but I think next week will be one the busiest ever, not just for us. I hope it is for us so I can chill out but I don’t envisage it! Look at Van Dijk and Coutinho, that could set off all sorts of stuff in the Premier League and in Europe.

"That’s how it can be, it changes every day. I’ve been offered different types of players, different personnel, over the last 24 hours to what was available a couple of days ago. Some of the ones that have been offered have been better than what we thought was available. That can still change because it is a knock on effect. If someone in the Premier League gets a player another can become surplus to requirements and there’s someone you didn’t expect available."

Outgoings are likely to have an enormous impact on Sunderland's business, with West Ham rumoured to be eyeing a move for Didier Ndong.

Grayson says he is under no pressure to sell but will be able to strengthen quickly should a substantial bid come in for any one of his players.

He said: "Speaking to Martin, we’ll make the decision on what is best for the football club. If we get good value for money we’ll probably sell players, if we don’t have a replacement lined up we’re probably in a position where we don’t have to do it.

"That’s something that happened with the club last year, when Lamine was perhaps going to go to Everton but there was no replacement lined up. We’ve got a list of targets, which was updated and put on my desk this morning. They’re all ready to go, to make the phonecalls, if anyone goes hopefully we’ve done enough work already to be prepared and have these things lined up.

"There’s a value with a lot of our players, you don’t give them away cheaply. Somebody might come in for a player that’s not been mentioned, not just the likes of Didier who have been mentioned in the press. We’ll just see where it goes in terms of what avenue we go down," he added.

"Players will leave on our terms, not just because we think they want to go to another club or because clubs think they can get players on the cheap. It’ll be down to us, it’ll be our decision because we’ve got the right deal.

"I mentioned that the other week when it was Lamine been talked about as one of those to leave, that he’d only leave if it was the right value for the football club.

"I think all the lads have been very good in terms of their attitude, on the training pitch and in the games. They’re showing their capabilities, when you talk about Lamine and Didier, they’ve been two of the highest profile players in terms of people talking about them leaving, they’ve been very good for us. Do I want to lose them? No. Do I think I might lose them still? Possibly, like a lot of other clubs in the same boat as us."