SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Keane’s list, and Stokes is on it

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Here is what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.

IT’S A SHORT LIST – KEANE:

... and striker Stokes is on it

ROY KEANE says his transfer shortlist for January is exactly that – a SHORT LIST.

Sunderland have been linked with more and more players as the transfer window approaches at the start of 2007. But the Black Cats boss says he is looking at only a small group of players in terms of recruiting for what he hopes will be late push for promotion.

He told the Echo: “I know that a lot of players have been mentioned in connection with Sunderland and I don’t want to get involved in all that. What I would say though is that I’ve got a list of 20 or even 10 players that I’ll be considering next month – I’ve for a list of maybe four or five players that I’m hoping to being into the club. That’s all.

“And if I don’t get those players we’ve targeted then I’ve got no intention of working my way down a big list.”

One of the players that Sunderland have confirmed an interest in is Arsenal striker Anthony Stokes, currently in loan at Falkirk and topping the list of goalscorers in the Scottish Premier League.

The teenager failed to impress in a friendly match while training with Sunderland earlier in the season but has gone on to do very well north of the border, And Keane says he will be happy to take him in January, although Celtic have tested Arsenal’s resolve by making a firm £700,000 bid for the player.

The Gunners rejected the bid for a player they rate in the seven-figure bracket.

Keane said: “Anthony is a player we’ve looked at. He’s done very well at Falkirk but we’ll look to go through the right channels. Of we can bring him to the club, then well and good but nothing is definite yet with any player.

“If we can get them in, then great but we’ve made no official approach for him just yet.

The Sunderland manager says the club will do its very best to get the small group of players he wants into the club. But he says that there will be no panic if he can’t attract the players to the Stadium of Light.

He said: “It has always been in the back of my mind that we can’t get those four or five players in that we want, then life will go on. We’ve got up to 10 players coming back in January from loan and the current situation is that I’m quite happy with the players I’ve already got there.

“So if that’s the way it’s got to be – no-one coming in in January – then so be it. But I do think we need to add to the squad one way or another.

“In terms of the players we’re looking at, the fact is that they’re contracted to their clubs so of course it’s never easy. But we’ll try not be held to ransom by anyone, we’ll go through the right channels and of course if we can get the three or four in, that will be great.”