Sunderland need to resolve Aiden McGeady situation swiftly amid 'interest' from Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City, Blackpool and Middlesbrough
Sunderland, in need of quality reinforcements, are expected to be busy in January with up to five new faces potentially heading to Wearside.
The reshaping of the squad has already begun with the departure of left-back Laurens De Bock back to Leeds United.
His departure is no great loss. Signed at the last minute in the summer as loan defensive cover, De Bock has failed to climb ahead of Denver Hume in the pecking order.
De Bock wants to go back to Belgium. Sunderland and Leeds won’t shed too many tears.
Clearly, that now increases the need for cover in that area given Hume is the only recognised left-back in the squad.
Phil Parkinson said himself he can’t afford to leave himself short in any areas. Luke O’Nien, Conor McLaughlin and even Lynden Gooch could all play the left wing-back role.
But if Sunderland have serious ambitions of turning their campaign around then quality signings are needed this month and that includes cover at left-back.
One of the other expected departures this month is set to be Aiden McGeady, the winger having been told he can leave this month and he has no future on Wearside, under Phil Parkinson.
Several clubs have been credited with an interest including Championship sides Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City.
League One rivals Blackpool, managed by former Black Cats boss Simon Grayson, has an interest in his former winger, though wages would be an issue for the seasiders.
McGeady has been training with the under-23 players since being told he has no first team future at Sunderland.
De Bock’s future was quickly resolved. Not as easy but the same needs to be done with McGeady.
It does nobody any good to have a player hanging around the training ground who won’t be involved.
For McGeady too, he will want to resume his career quickly and can’t afford to be training with the youngsters for much longer.
McGeady still has 18-months left on his Sunderland deal. It is okay Parkinson and Sunderland stating they want to move him on but McGeady arguably holds most of the cards when it comes to his next move.
There has been interest and Sunderland are confident he will move on.
Speaking last month, Parkinson said: “There’s one or two clubs from abroad have contacted the hierarchy at the club.
“There’s nothing absolutely concrete but I’m sure that in a situation like this, quite often the player’s agent will be working on several situations.
“That’s why it was important to give Aiden enough time to try and sort that out.”
Though it is a crying shame to see his time at Sunderland end this way - given he remains the best player at the club and had a huge impact last season - clearly, it would be best all round for his exit to be swift so everyone can move on.
All eyes would then be on who Parkinson moves for when it comes to replacing arguably the most technically-gifted player in the third tier.