TRANSFER deadline day is finally upon us so what can footy fans in the North East expect?
Our Sunderland, Newcastle United and Hartlepool United reporters have their say on what supporters can expect to happen at their respective clubs before tonight’s 11pm deadline.
Sunderland - Chris Young.
FOR EACH of the last three years, Sunderland have waited until deadline day to tie up the remaining details of January moves.
Wayne Bridge, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Danny Graham and Liam Bridcutt have all arrived at the Stadium of Light in the last hours of the transfer window.
But that pattern is near-certain to reach an abrupt halt today, even though Sunderland have one domestic loan still available to them.
Deadline day drama is expected to be thin on the ground. In fact, it may be more like tumble-weed.
For the last fortnight, Gus Poyet has preached that he expected Jermain Defoe to be Sunderland’s one and only arrival during this window.
So far, nothing has changed that. Positive news on Lee Cattermole’s injury has ruled out an emergency move for a midfielder, while there haven’t been any offers deemed too good to turn down, which would prompt the need for a replacement.
The only deals at the Stadium of Light today will be out of the door.
Charis Mavrias’ return to Panathinaikos on a loan deal until the end of the season should be confirmed after he flew to Greece over the weekend.
Sunderland will desperately hope that Cabral follows him, although that may be too much ask.
There could be a couple of the Under-21 squad departing on loan, although it’s more likely that their suitors will wait until the emergency loan window opens for Football League clubs.
But Sunderland did their business in good time by swapping Defoe for Altidore. Further moves will not be until the summer.
Newcastle United - Miles Starforth.
THE exit door at Newcastle United’s normally the one to watch on transfer deadline day.
Just think back to this day four years ago, when Andy Carroll left for Liverpool.
The entrance door, however, is rarely used on the final day of the January transfer window.
And today is unlikely to be much different, with head coach John Carver having already indicated that he doesn’t expect any senior arrivals.
There’s only likely to be one player – teenager Dele Alli – coming arriving at St James’s Park.
Newcastle have been in discussions over a deal for the MK Dons midfielder, who would be loaned back to the League One club for the rest of the season.
As for exits at United, never say never.
Hartlepool United - Richard Mennear.
DEADLINE day has become quite a dramatic day in the life of Hartlepool United fans over the past 12-months.
This time last year Jack Baldwin was sold on deadline to Peterborough United for a deal worth £500,000 plus add-ons, while in the summer Luke James finally secured his long awaited move to the same club for a similar fee.
The chances of Posh coming in for any of the current squad today are slim. But never say never.
So, what can Pools fans expect before Big Ben strikes 11pm tonight?
Well, boss Ronnie Moore has finally secured the services of a new striker to boost his attacking options with Plymouth Argyle’s Marvin Morgan set to join on loan until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old hasn’t got a great goalscoring record in recent seasons but will add another dimension and some further experience to the front line.
Pools fans will also be hoping Moore can bring in the central defender he wants to boost numbers, if he does then Pools will have a reasonable squad from which to fight relegation this season.
One departure he will be desperate to avoid though, is loanee Rakish Bingham being recalled to Mansfield Town.
If they do activate the recall clause that would be a real hammer blow.
Bingham joined on the same day as Scott Harrison and Aaron Tshibola but since the start of the month there have been no new arrivals.
Today should finally be the day that changes.
We wait with baited breath.
Then again, the emergency loan window re-opens in seven days time...