Sunderland closing in on four deals as Jack Ross looks to boost his attack

Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald has said that up to five players could leave the club this week, with a similar number arriving.

Monday, 18th June 2018, 12:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 2:36 pm
Jack Ross hopes to strengthen his Sunderland squad this week

The Black Cats have accepted a bid for Paddy McNair, which could kick-start a busy week of business. Middlesbrough are now in pole position to sign the Northern Ireland international but Brighton are still interested in a deal.

Donald said on twitter: "3/4/5 players may leave this week with a similar number possibly coming in.

Jack Ross hopes to strengthen his Sunderland squad this week

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"It is busy and we are on it. I will update the fans Thursday and answer any questions asked."

Sunderland, who will likely be assembling an almost entirely new squad this summer, are currently closing in on four incoming deals.

Strengthening an attack that was light on goals and experience in the second half of last season is an obvious priority, with a move for Swiss striker Florian Kamberi failing last week.

The Black Cats have moved quickly onto other targets and are close to two additions in that area.

Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained and the financial rules they have to satisfyJoel Asoro and Josh Maja are currently the club's two main strikers, but both have just one year left on their deal and have been attracting interest from other clubs.

Young striker Andrew Nelson could be given an opportunity to impress in pre-season after impressing on loan at Falkirk last season.

A central midfielder and a central defender are also on the immediate agenda and talks on Wearside are planned for early this week.

Should those deals be sealed then it will be a significant boost for Jack Ross, who is hoping for some business to be concluded before he welcomes the squad back for pre-season training next Wednesday.

After their return they will head for a training camp in Portugal, with Ross admitting that he is unlikely to have got his League One squad fully in place by that point.

He said: "It’s part of the challenge [going away with a group that might change before the start of the season].

LIVE Sunderland blog - Transfer latest as Jack Ross eyes breakthrough plus Jordan Pickford, Wahbi Khazri & more“I came in with my eyes wide-open to the challenges I would face, but certainly in this initial period, it’s a set of fairly unusual circumstances as normally any manager would tell you they would like to have as much in place as they can.

“Whatever we go with, and whatever we have at that stage, we will make the most of and we’ll get the most we can out of the trip, so they’ll be elements that stand us in good stead.”

While some players are keen to leave Sunderland this summer, with McNair understood to be one of those, Ross hopes that he can convince some to take on the challenge of leading the Black Cats back into the Championship on his watch.

He said: "It may be that I need to convince some of them that the challenge of us trying to drive the club back up is attractive, but that doesn’t scare me.

“I’ve had to do that before and if things were dead easy you wouldn’t have to convince people to follow you, but part of being a manager is to do that and it’s vital to what you want to do.”

Nevertheless, some additions are required regardless and so progress this week would be welcomed.