Lee Johnson gives Sunderland transfer update and explains where they stand in the market

Lee Johnson says he remains confident of adding to his Sunderland squad before the end of the window, but is waiting for progress on his preferred targets.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 6:00 pm

The Sunderland head coach would like to add another forward player and a left-back to his squad, and said last week that he expected to get one, and was hopeful of both.

That remained the state of play on Friday afternoon.

Loan deals are the most likely avenue for the Black Cats, who are operating near the limit of the salary cap introduced last summer.

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Lee Johnson wants to add two more players to his Sunderland squad this month
Lee Johnson wants to add two more players to his Sunderland squad this month

Johnson says he expects the window to 'hot up', over the next week, and believes progress from clubs further up the pyramid will help the club make progress on his targets.

The head coach also believes that the late stages of the window could present some unexpected opportunities, as clubs try to create space and wages for further additions to their squad, and as the continued financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is felt.

The Black Cats boss also conceded that any significant business in terms of permanent deals is highly unlikely for the Black Cats.

"Nothing has changed from the last time I gave an update," Johnson said.

"We are obviously having conversations, and what you're trying to do is get yourself in position so that, it's almost like a domino effect and when one falls from the big boys, we're then one of the big boys of League One and we get the first pick of the draft on anyone then available, if you like.

"Or, we go and sign a permanent, in which case we feels there's a short and long-term future for them here.

"I don't think we've got the option to spend an awful lot of money on a particular position, and we've just got to accept that."

As well as the salary cap challenge, Johnson and Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman have been left with a threadbare recruitment department,

The pair are essentially starting from scratch but the Sunderland head coach says he is relaxed that they are well-placed to move for players who can improve the squad when they become available.

Johnson also insisted that there is more to come from his current group of players, and insists that it is all to play for in the race for promotion despite Tuesday night's disappointing defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

"I do [feel we're in control], because I also think that every time you bring a player in there's a domino effect.

"You've got to bring a player in that's good, the other players have got to understand why you've brought that player in.

"The key thing for me is to keep building the cohesion.

"I do believe we can still be successful this season, Obviously the swing of emotion and passion of everybody can change depending on a win or loss, but there's still a lot of points to play for.

"It's a lot of points and we've got to fight tooth and nail for as many of those as we possibly can."

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