Dick Advocaat wants two more signings – but Sunderland must also trim wage bill

Dick Advocaat
Dick Advocaat
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Dick Advocaat remains keen to add to his Sunderland squad after meeting with chairman Ellis Short earlier this week.

But while Sunderland are still in the market for further signings this summer, the Black Cats also need to offload those considered surplus to requirements.

Liam Bridcutt could be on his way out of Sunderland

Liam Bridcutt could be on his way out of Sunderland

Advocaat is thought to have enjoyed productive talks with chairman Short here in Toronto over the club’s remaining activity in the transfer window.

Short is keen to back Advocaat’s bid to remould the side into one capable of avoiding yet another relegation scrap after the 67-year-old’s U-turn over extending his Sunderland tenure.

Sunderland have splashed out more than £15million on four new players, and while Advocaat is happy with that haul, the Black Cats remain short in the final third.

Advocaat said last night: “We just bought two players (Jeremain Lens and Younes Kaboul) and we still hope we can get one or two extra.

“But we all agree that the players we have bought have made the team and squad stronger.

“There is more competition in the squad and that is what we need.

“We are happy that they are here.”

However, while Sunderland are planning to add to the four signings, sporting director Lee Congerton is also working to ship out those who are not part of Advocaat’s plans.

That is NOT thought to be a case of Sunderland needing to raise transfer funds.

But the club need to reduce their wage bill to comply with the Premier League’s financial regulations.

Roberto De Fanti signings Valentin Roberge and Charis Mavrias are obviously considered deadwood after being left behind in the North East to train with the Under-21s.

But it is several of those who have travelled to North America that Sunderland are looking to cut from the wage bill as they look to add to the squad.

Ex-Brighton pair Will Buckley and Liam Bridcutt, particularly the latter, are available if Sunderland receive acceptable offers to offload them on a permanent basis.

As reported last week, Sunderland are looking to sell, rather than loan out the duo, to make back some of the £5million they invested to bring the two midfielders to the Stadium of Light.

One of Advocaat’s four strikers is also expected to make way, with Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham both in the final year of their contracts.

And there remains a question mark over the future of Vito Mannone after Sunderland received enquiries for the back-up stopper at the end of last season.

Sunderland rate academy product Jordan Pickford very highly and are keen for him to continue his development at the club, despite being wary of him stagnating if he spends a season on the bench.

If a Championship club makes a loan bid where Pickford would play regular first-team football, then Sunderland are likely to be tempted.

But with Pickford impressing during training out here in North America, it is difficult to envisage him being confined to the U21s next season, if Mannone remains at the club.