PAOLO DI CANIO is looking to add another couple of players to Sunderland’s ranks, despite already bringing eight fresh faces to the Stadium of Light this summer, writes Chris Young in Hong Kong.
Sunderland landed in Hong Kong today ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy, with a very different looking squad at Di Canio’s disposal to the one which finished last season.
New boys Cabral, Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite, Emanuele Giaccherini, Jozy Altidore, El-Hadji Ba, David Moberg Karlsson and Vito Mannone all touched down at Hong Kong international, while Sunderland continue to tie up the loose ends of a deal for right-back Gino Peruzzi.
But head coach Di Canio admits he is still keen for more signings, although he accepts the financial reality for Sunderland.
The Black Cats remain without a specialist left-back after being unable to seal a move for Argentine defender Lucas Orban, with Valencia defender Aly Cissokho continuing to be linked with a switch to Wearside in the Spanish press over the weekend.
And after offloading Danny Graham to Hull, plus the potential return of Alfred N’Diaye to Turkey, Sunderland could also be in the hunt for a new striker or central midfielder.
Di Canio said today: “The board knows that we need something more but I don’t know if it is possible at the moment.
“We have already made good signings and the club have made a sacrifice in some way by spending money, because we cannot cancel in an instant what has happened in the past.
“So I am happy.
“It would be better if we could bring in one to two more players but we will see.”
Sunderland face Spurs in their opening game of the tournament on Wednesday (11am British time) before tackling either South China FC or Manchester City on Saturday.
And Di Canio believes facing fellow Premier League sides will prove beneficial for the Black Cats after tackling lower league opposition in two behind-closed-doors games at their Italian training camp.
“I can see my team play in real tests, playing the sides we will meet in the league, two of the best sides in England,” added Di Canio.
“Also for the new players, it will be a good test to find what level of difficulty we will find during the league.
“Even if the temperature in Hong Kong does not help to see the real English football but anyway they will play top footballers.
“That is a very important test for the players and for me to the test them.”