This is the business Sunderland are looking to conclude on deadline day after Ross Stewart arrival

Sunderland will make trimming their squad the focus of deadline day after Ross Stewart became their fourth and likely final addition of the January window on Sunday.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 6:00 am

Stewart's arrival brought to a conclusion Lee Johnson's search for more attacking variety, with the 24-year-old identified as a player 'for the short and long term'.

Charlie Wyke's goalscoring form has been excellent this season but speaking earlier in the window, Johnson outlined how he deemed the arrival of a forward capable of stretching the opposition defence to be crucial.

Rangers winger Jordan Jones, who arrived on loan until the end of the season on Friday, is expected to help further change the profile of Sunderland's attack.

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Will Grigg is expected to seal a loan move on deadline day

"We've found some good pace and power in Jack Diamond but we're always looking to stretch opponents as much as possible, so we're always looking for that willing running," Johnson had said.

"It's not always about being lightning quick, you've just got to be willing to run your absolute maximum a lot, and to be able to repeatedly sprint and recover."

Tellingly, Johnson's first comments on Stewart's arrival were to note that he is 'very fit and quick'.

Johnson wants to ensure his squad is 'competitive', and is therefore eager to ensure he does not carry any players who have no realistic prospect of regular minutes into the second half the season.

He will therefore sanction the departure of Will Grigg, who has told the Black Cats boss that he wants to move closer to his family and to a club where his chances of starting games is higher.

"I’d be more than happy to have Will here but it does then become a case of how many strikers we have," Johnson said.

"Will wants to play every game, he wants to be closer to his family who are in Stafford, and we are probably going to have to accommodate that on this occasion if we get that extra man [Stewart] in."

As it stands, Shrewsbury Town and Oxford United are thought to be the frontrunners for Grigg's signature.

Johnson has said that he is happy for Grigg to join Shrewsbury. Oxford were interested in a deal last January, but the club's stance then was that they would not do business with a promotion rival.

Tellingly, Johnson said that Grigg's departure would make little difference to the club's salary cap position.

It is not, therefore, expected to clear the way for any further incomings.

Johnson has five strikers now that Stewart has arrived and speaking last Thursday, said that he had not discussed a possible exit with Danny Graham.

Graham has been left out of the last two matchday squads but Johnson expects him to stay until the end of the campaign.

Chris Maguire was another player left out of the matchday squad on Saturday, and Johnson said afterwards that he was not sure whether he was a player who could leave before the deadline.

Loan departures are unlikely, with Johnson previously saying that his preference was increasingly to keep Anthony Patterson and Dan Neil.

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