Kristjaan Speakman confirms Sunderland stance on potential free agent transfer to address striker shortage
Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman has all but ruled out Sunderland signing a free agent to address their striker shortage.
The Black Cats will play the final months of the season with Joe Gelhardt as their only striker after Ross Stewart suffered a season-ending achilles injury, and after the club were unable to secure a replacement on deadline day.
The club pursued four potential additions but they either weren't sanctioned to depart from their clubs, or opted not to drop into the Championship.
Speakman told The Echo that the club had assessed their options but said the pool of potential players is considerably smaller than people think due to the update registration rules.
"The moment that the deadline closes at 11pm, regardless of the position of the team and whether we're happy or not, we always run a process on the free agents," he said.
"You never know and you don't want to miss an opportunity. But the situation is that it is a very small marketplace, a large number of the players who you might see on a list do not have the GB qualifications. It's exactly the same for free agents as other players - they have to fit what we're trying to do.
"We've made a conscious decision with Tony and the coaches and the recruitment team, on free agents and some players [available] on deadline day, not to take them. Simply having a player come in the door that's not going to be an active member of the team makes no sense. I can't see that stance changing at this stage."