FORMER Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is hopeful of pushing through a double loan move for David Meyler and Ahmed Elmohamady before the transfer deadline.
But any chance of the pair leaving the Stadium of Light before August 31 depends on Martin O’Neill’s attempts to bolster his squad further, with the Sunderland boss now upping his attempts for new recruits.
Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson remain Sunderland’s prime targets with O’Neill making eight-figure bids for each player.
But O’Neill has also made inquiries for several other players, including Spurs duo Danny Rose and Jermaine Jenas.
Both are likely to be allowed to leave White Hart Lane this month with left-sider Rose on the fringes of the first-team and ex-Newcastle midfielder Jenas enduring an injury-hit loan spell at White Hart Lane last season.
Sunderland were today also linked with wantaway Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey, while Crystal Palace’s £9million-rated winger Wilfried Zaha is a contingency option should the Black Cats miss out on Johnson.
But the uncertain timescale over Sunderland’s transfer hunt forces Bruce to be patient in his attempts to take Meyler and Elmohamady (right) on loan to Hull City.
The midfielders both featured as substitutes against Arsenal last Saturday and neither have been told that they are not part of O’Neill’s plans.
O’Neill has turned down approaches from several clubs for Meyler, while Elmohamady and his representative met with the Sunderland boss during the pre-season stay in the East Midlands.
But should Sunderland be able to add significantly to sole summer signings Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha before the end of the month, then O’Neill may be willing to allow Meyler and Elmohamady to leave on a temporary basis.
Bruce today said: “Nothing’s changed, there’s still 10 days to go and it may be a case of staying patient.
“The big Premier League clubs haven’t sorted themselves yet, in my opinion. I was the same in that position.
“Premier League managers are still making decisions over who will stay, who they want to let go out on loan and who they want to move on. Once they sort themselves out then we’ll be in a position to know more ourselves.
“I’ve had my targets in mind all along and until I’m told no on those players, then we have to wait and see what happens.
“We’ve got other targets in mind, of course, but it looks like being a case of waiting until some of the big clubs do their business.”
Meyler and Elmohamady may not be the only players leaving the Stadium of Light this month, with Kieran Richardson expressing a wish to end his five-year stint with the Black Cats.
O’Neill has been on the look-out for a specialist left-back throughout the summer anyway, but Sunderland are yet to receive a bid for Richardson and the 27-year-old won’t be allowed to leave until a replacement is signed.
Rose, equally content at left-back or left wing, would be capable of filling that void, potentially on a season-long loan deal.
But Sunderland have also been linked with Blackburn’s wanataway defender Martin Olsson - who didn’t feature in Saturday’s Championship opener at Ipswich - and Croatian international Ivan Strinic, mooted to be a £5m target for the Wearsiders.