Poyet plans Sunderland transfer activity in key meeting

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet. Picture by Frank Reid
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet. Picture by Frank Reid
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GUS Poyet will use the current international break to finalise his targets for the January transfer window.

The Sunderland head coach is set to meet sporting director Lee Congerton at the Academy of Light this week.

And between them, the pair will thrash out the final details of who to pursue when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year.

Poyet is keen to strengthen a squad whose limitations have been exposed early this season, particularly in defence.

With full-backs Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt both out injured at the moment, Sunderland have had to play right-back Anthony Reveillere at left-back and were forced to include teenage full-back Tommy Robson on the bench for the weekend Premier Leagye game against Everton.

Poyet, however, is likely to want to strengthen not just in defence but also explore his options in midfield and up front, and he and Congerton will be looking at outgoing as well as incoming players in their talks.

Despite their inclusion in recent squads, Sunderland will look for buyers for the likes of Danny Graham and Cabral, while misfit American striker Jozy Altidore has already talked about the need to consider his options if his game time remains as limited as it has been this season.

Traditionally, club chairman Ellis Short has shown himself reluctant to spend heavily in the mid-season transfer window, although he has never failed to provide money for recruitment if the case has been well made to him.

And there is likely to be plenty of horse-trading going on before the turn of the year as Poyet seeks to add depth to a squad he has already suggested is under-powered.

It all means there will be much for the Uruguayan and Congerton to discuss when they finally sit down to a re-scheduled meeting this week.

Poyet told the Echo: “We’re watching plenty of things for January.

“We met after Southampton – that was the original date set – but, after 15 minutes of the meeting, I said to them, ‘boys, this is not the right week to meet!’

“At that moment in time, I said I need this, this, this, this, this, this and this after losing 8-0!

“But we did manage to go through the basics and we’ll meet again this week.”

Although Sunderland will look to firm up their targets in the very near future, the process of searching for and identifying targets has, of course, been going on for months.

And after this week’s meeting, Sunderland are expected to put the wheels in motion so that they have the best possible chance of making early breakthroughs in the January window.

Poyet confirmed: “We’ve been watching a certain quantity of players in certain positions for a while.

“Now, it’s time to meet.

“Last year, we put a timescale on when we would start moving forward.

“So, in the next two or three weeks, we’ll start getting in contact with clubs and agents and see where we get to.”

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