Sam Allardyce eyes early transfer breakthroughs for Sunderland
The Sunderland boss has had to put much of the Black Cats’ close season planning on hold over recent weeks while the club’s Premier League status has been in such a precarious situation.
But Allardyce will waste no time in looking to the future now that Sunderland are assured of top flight football and he will hold discussions with chairman Ellis Short throughout next week after Sunday’s final game at Watford.
Allardyce wants to bring fresh blood in as soon as possible, and there are potential new recruits available on the Bosman market.
Lorient right-back Lamine Gassama – who rejected Sunderland’s advances in the January window – is out-of-contract this summer, as is Bordeaux midfielder Clement Chantome, again watched on Wednesday night by Black Cats scouts.
But when it comes to permanent signings, Allardyce expects the European Championships to make the transfer market initially sluggish, while price tags will become inflated thanks to the new television deal.
The Sunderland boss is hoping though to have the core of his squad established by the time Sunderland return to pre-season training on July 1.
“We’d like to get in players as quickly as we can, but the difficulty of doing things early doors is the Euro’s,” said Allardyce.
“That’s one of the elements which we have to get around.
“For me the initial focus is on the players who are already here, what we’ve got to do with those players who are out of contract or here on loan.
“We have to see what we can sort out with those players before we move into the market like everyone else.
“That will be the hard part; spending the money as wisely as we possibly can.
“Even though there’s more money coming for everybody, it will only inflate the prices during the early part of the summer.”