Shifting high earners, attracting loanees and wantaway players: Chris Coleman on Sunderland's key January questions
Chris Coleman admits that his January transfer plans are dependent on some of Sunderland's higher earners leaving the club, but he has a back-up plan if buyers can't be found.
Coleman told fans on a BBC phone-in last week that he would likely have to depend on loan deals to salvage Sunderland’s season, and he is hopeful that he will be able to make moves in that department regardless of outgoings.
Sales of a permanent nature, however, are required if deeper change is to be made to the squad.
Coleman said: “I think there is a little bit of space there for us to do some twisting and turning.
“Definitely, if we lose one or two.
“If we lose one or two who are on big salaries, that will free up money to bring in other people.
“If someone comes in and buys one of our players, that will change again.
“I have lists of possible loans if we don’t get anybody out, and I have a list of possible loans or buys if we sell or if players leave us on loan.
“There are different scenarios for us to look at.”
Coleman also revealed that he would be prepared to make more than one short-term addition, despite EFL rules that limit each side to naming five loanees in any one matchday squad.
Sunderland currently have four players on loan from other clubs, though Crystal Palace’s Jonny Williams has struggled with injuries and Everton’s Brendan Galloway with form.
Coleman said: “We’ve had that conversation. You can have as many as you like in the building, but only five in the matchday squad.
“It’s needs must, for us.
“If we can get someone in on loan, we can get something out of them between now and the end of the season.
“We have to be brutally honest with other clubs if we are taking their players on loan, as far as what is happening here.
“But we don’t want to be bringing in players for the sake of it, not using them but just adding to the squad. We only want to bring in players who are going to make us better.
“We have to do our homework on the individuals that we bring in, and we have to get it right.
“Are they a bit different to what we have got? Can they make us a bit more dynamic?
“If they can, I don’t mind if they are 18, 19, 20, or 21. If they are capable then we will try to bring them here.”
Moving players on, of course, will not be an easy task.
Coleman hinted that there may be interest in loan deals as there was last summer when Fabio Borini, Jeremain Lens, Papy Djilobodji and Wahbi Khazri moved abroad.
The Sunderland boss hopes that some of his players may attract interest from Premier League clubs due to their experience of the top tier.
He said: “Transfer windows are funny.
“There might be one or two players that you don’t want, but you can’t get them out.
“And there might be some that you want to keep, but they are the ones that other clubs want to take off you.
“That’s the nature of the game.
“I think there will be interest in one or two of our players, maybe as loan deals, and we will have to wait and see about that.
“Who knows, there could be clubs in the Premier League in January that look at some of our boys who have performed in the top flight and have experience, and they may want to bring them in.
“That could work for all parties.”
Coleman admitted that he was aware of players who had signalled their desire to leave the club and suggested that could be a catalyst for his rebuilding project.
The former Wales boss said: “Looking at it, I think there are certain players who would like to go and play elsewhere – I’m not giving away any secrets by saying that.
“That creates a feeling of negativity and it is hard to be around that, when it’s been there for a long time.
“There’s always an option, there’s always a way out of it, there’s always an end – good or bad.
“When it’s bad, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.
“But if we do lose one or two faces, I see that as a little step in the right direction towards building something new.
“I want to build something new.
“We have to come through where we are now by hook or by crook. Once we do that, and I settle things down, then I can start building.”