Jack Ross issues update on Josh Maja and Lynden Gooch's contracts plus Sunderland's transfer plans
Jack Ross is expecting answers 'sooner rather than later' as Josh Maja and Lynden Gooch remain locked in contract talks at Sunderland.
The pair are set to see their current deals expire in the summer and both have been offered fresh terms by the Black Cats after impressive starts to the season.
And Ross has once again reiterated his belief that both players are keen to stay at the Stadium of Light - despite speculation linking Maja in particular with a move.
Paper talk suggested that Premier League outfits Manchester City and Tottenham - as well as a host of Championship clubs - were keen on the 19-year-old.
But Ross remains adamant that the pair will remain on Wearside and is expecting answers soon.
"We're hoping - that's probably the best way to describe it," said the Sunderland boss.
"I believe that both players want to stay at the club. They're still young enough in their careers to understand that this is a great place to be.
"There's always external factors that come in to play and these are the things that slow down the process at times.
"But I would be hopeful that they will both remain at the club, and if they are remaining then we should know sooner rather than later."
And with the January transfer window rapidly approaching, Ross has confirmed that the club will be in the market - but only in a couple of key areas.
Having overhauled the squad in the summer, the Scot is keen not to disrupt the strong spirit that has been cultivated at the Academy of Light so far this term.
"I don't envisage, or want to do, too much," he admitted.
"If we can strengthen in one, possibly two areas, we'll do that.
"I'm conscious that we did a lot of work in the summer and rebuilt the squad.
"It's a good squad, not just in terms of their ability but their character, mix and how they've come together and I don't want to disrupt that.
"If we can strengthen a little bit we'll do that, but it's also a notoriously difficult month to get right.
"It's a lot more challenging, this window, than a summer window but we're in a good position because we don't need to do anything through panic.
"Because of where we find ourselves we can do things quite sensibly and that will be the case.
"I don't think we'll be busy, but that's not to say we won't do anything."