SUNDERLAND’S pursuit of Brighton pair Liam Bridcutt and Will Buckley is unlikely to be wrapped up as swiftly as the successful loan move of Marcos Alonso to the Stadium of Light.
Fiorentina left-back Alonso became Gus Poyet’s first signing as Sunderland head coach when his arrival was announced on the eve of the transfer window re-opening today.
And although the defender was not available for the New Year’s game against Aston Villa, he could make his debut in the FA Cup tie against Carlisle this weekend.
That ties in with the head coach’s goal of getting January signings in as quickly as possible.
But Poyet will have to be more patient in his pursuit of Bridcutt and Buckley - two of four new faces he wants to add to his squad this month
The Uruguayan’s interest in Scottish international Bridcutt has been well-documented; his interest in Buckley less so but both are in the South American’s sights.
And although Brighton have given no official confirmation of any approaches from Sunderland, the Echo understands that bids have been tabled for both players.
But Sunderland’s offer of just over £2m for Bridcutt and just over £1m for Buckley have not impressed Poyet’s former club.
And Sunderland might have to resign themselves to lengthy negotiations for the players this month, rather than making the quick signings Poyet craves.
Brighton boss Oscar Garcia wants to keep hold of both with Albion just outside the Championship play-off zone.
He said: “All my squad are important and I want to keep as many players as we can.
“We are trying to have good players and to improve these players but the idea is to keep these players playing for us.”
There have been suggestions that Sunderland’s bid for Bridcutt is their last offer but it would be no surprise if the Black Cats return sometime during January with an improved offer for a player that Poyet holds in the highest regard.
Buckley meanwhile is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem.
The injury is not expected to keep him out for too long but with the winger not actively involved in games, Sunderland can be more patient in stepping up their interest in him.