Sunderland close in on two strikers, centre half and midfielder - the names in the frame
Jack Ross is hoping to make FOUR new additions to his Sunderland squad this week - but who are they?
While there are no concrete names confirmed as of yet, the Black Cats have been linked with an array of players this summer.
And with confirmation that the club are seeking a centre back, a central midfielder and two strikers, their shortlist can be narrowed down even further.
We’ve taken a look at some of the more realistic options that could become one of Ross’ first Sunderland captures:
THE CENTRE BACK
This is a position that Sunderland will undoubtedly have to strengthen this summer given their dismal defensive record of late.
Yet despite the glaring lack of centre backs at the Stadium of Light, there haven’t been many linked with the Black Cats this summer.
Former Sunderland man Nedum Onuoha was linked, but can be counted out after saying a move back to Wearside would be ‘unlikely’.
Shrewsbury defender Toto Nsiala - who Chris Coleman was reportedly keen on in January - has been linked once again, but that may merely be paper talk.
The Congolese international certainly split opinion during his time at Hartlepool in 2016 and he may not fit Ross’ requirements.
Luton Town defender Dan Potts was also rumoured to be interesting Sunderland but, given his £500,000 asking price and the fact he is naturally a left-back, a deal in this instance seems unlikely.
A more plausible option could be that of Clark Robertson, formerly of Blackpool.
Ross is known to be a fan of the Scot, who will be available on a free transfer this summer, and could be tempted to make a move.
Of the three options, Robertson certainly seems the most likely to come off - although he is attracting interest from elsewhere.
THE CENTRAL MIDFIELDER
A position where plenty of names have been linked - despite Sunderland already having some good depth in this area.
But with Paddy McNair expected to leave the club imminently , and others potentially following, reinforcements will be needed.
Most of the central midfielders linked with a move to the Stadium of Light are based north of the border and will be well-known to Ross.
Hibernian’s John McGinn has regularly been linked to the club and would undoubtedly be a solid addition - although his reported £5m asking price may prove a stumbling block.
Highly-regarded in Scotland, the international’s dogged determination and fine technical ability would see him well-suited to League One.
However, with a host of Championship sides and Celtic said to also be interested, Sunderland will face some intense competition.
McGinn’s midfield partner Dylan McGeouch is also rumoured to be interesting the Black Cats and could prove a more realistic target given that he is currently out of contract.
The 25-year-old is also attracting his fair share of interest with Rangers and Blackburn thought to be eyeing him up.
Ross could also be keen on a reunion with Kyle Magennis, the 19-year-old who the Scot helped nurture at St Mirren.
He was a standout performer for the Buddies last season and has long been tipped to follow the new Sunderland boss to Wearside.
An energetic, box-to-box midfielder, Magennis may prove a more cost-effective option too with McGinn and McGeouch potentially looking for higher wages.
Stevie Mallan of Barnsley has also been linked having fallen out of favour at Oakwell, and is another known to Ross having played at St Mirren.
Mallan is widely expected to leave South Yorkshire this summer, so could Wearside be his next destination?
A more unlikely name linked is that of Grant Leadbitter, the former Sunderland star currently at Middlesbrough.
His wages, and the fact he is attracting interest from Championship clubs, make him a long-shot.
THE TWO STRIKERS
Sunderland struggled for goals last season and will be desperate to add some extra firepower to their squad.
Plenty of names have been linked, including former St Mirren striker Gavin Reilly.
The frontman took to Twitter to announce his departure from Paisley which sparked rumours that he could be set for a reunion with Ross.
Formerly of Hearts, Queen of the South and Dunfermline, Reilly netted 22 times last season and was named in the division’s team of the year.
With Reilly now a free agent, it’s a deal which could be done fairly quickly.
AFC Wimbledon striker Lyle Taylor has also been mentioned as a Sunderland target with his contract set to expire this summer.
He netted 16 times in League One last season and knows the division well, but once again Sunderland would have to fend off Championship clubs to land his signature.
Although not an out-and-out striker, Hakeeb Adelakun could also fall into this category.
Having turned down a new deal at Scunthorpe, Adelakun - who generally plays as a wide forward - is thought to be interesting Ross.
The 22-year-old’s goalscoring record may not stand out, but his pace and trickery make him a useful asset.
Marcus Maddison, a former Newcastle youngster, was also linked with Sunderland.
But with Championship clubs circling around the Peterborough striker, any potential deal may not come to fruition.