Kristjaan Speakman drops Sunderland January transfer hint - and sends strong message on player sales

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Kristjaan Speakman discussed the upcoming January transfer window in a press conference on Wednesday

Kristjaan Speakman has hinted that Sunderland will look to reinforce their forward line in the January window and says they won't jeopardise their promotion ambitions through player sales.

Speakman held a press conference alongside new head coach Michael Beale on Wednesday and asked if there would be funds available next month, with none of the four summer arrivals at this stage having scored a goal. Speakman hinted that there would, though also said that he believed Beale's arrival would help the side.

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"We certainly want to convert some of our dominance into more goals, and if you look at the team that Michael took at Rangers you are talking about a high-possession team that had to break down teams that played a low block, so there are a lot of similarities in terms of some of the more recent teams Michael's teams have played against," Speakman said.

"From a coaching standpoint he can come and sprinkle some more ideas about how we can be more effective there.

From a transfer window perspective, the club has always invested either in the short, but certainly in the medium and long-term, around trying to improve the quality.

"We'll continue to approach that, and we have been on with that piece of work since the [summer] transfer window closed and that will run alongside everything we have done in recent weeks."

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Speakman was also asked about Jack Clarke's future amid ongoing Premier League interest and while he said such attention was 'difficult', he added that the ownership had shown their determination to retain the club's best players.

"I don't think it's a difficult conundrum," Speakman said.

"I don't know who first used the words 'the model', I think it might have been me and if it was I should probably check myself because that has come back every [time]. It's just about having a really well-organised organisation at your football club. The selling the players part is a by-product of doing well, and that should be on the choice of the club in collaboration with the player at a given moment. The football club has turned down numerous bids on numerous players over the last couple of years, and we have sold one player.

"I feel it is a slight misrepresentation around the direction of travel and what the objective of the club is because if we were a selling club, we would have made loads of sales - and we haven't. When players do really, really, well and they attract the attention of the Premier League outfits then naturally that is going to be a difficult moment.

"But our ownership has been rock-solid around that and I don't think we will be looking to trade players when we have that opportunity to get promoted."

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Speakman said if there were any significant sales, fans could expect to see the funds reinvested.

"That's always been our strategy from the start," he said.

"That by-product from doing well does allow you to trade and one of the most efficient methods of getting to the top of our league with more spending power to invest in whatever you want to invest in - facilities, people, players - is to trade players. But it won't ever be against our number one objective which is to get promoted and grow the club."

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