Dick Advocaat says Sunderland are still in the market for “three or four” further signings this summer.
Sunderland have already made a couple of inroads in the transfer window with Sebastian Coates converting his loan switch into a permanent deal and Adam Matthews arriving in a £2million move from Celtic.
But Sunderland are still hoping to add another centre-half, plus boost their options in the final third of the pitch, with Belgian international Nicolas Lombaerts and wingers Jeremain Lens and Stewart Downing all on the club’s radar.
Advocaat refused to be drawn on names when asked at his first press conference of the season today, but did confirm that Sunderland want three, possibly four, more additions to the squad, although none are thought to be imminent.
“We discussed with Lee (Congerton, sporting director) and the president (Ellis Short) at the end of last season, we need more competition in the squad,” said Advocaat.
“We have two new players with Coates and Matthews, but hopefully we will still get some other ones in as well.
“But it is too early to mention about names - you will have to wait and see.”
When asked how many further signings, Advocaat replied: “Three, maybe four.
“It’s still very quiet in the transfer market in England, which is strange.
“We still hope we can get three extra players in the squad, which will make everything a little bit easier.
“I don’t want to go into names, because I have read so many names - about 20 names.”
After bringing in two defenders so far this month, the final third of the pitch is Sunderland’s priority now, particularly after the Black Cats were the joint second lowest scorers in the Premier League last season.
Lens and Downing have been identified as prime targets to address that deficiency and it is problem which Advocaat recognises.
“We did not create a lot of chances all season, and we did not score a lot of goals,” he added.
“But the providing to the strikers was also not good.
“It also depends on what players we can get, and we are working on that.
“And it depends on the players who will come, because we are not Manchester United or Manchester City, and we don’t have unlimited money.
“So we have to be very careful about the players we bring in.”