Sunderland reporter Chris Young has been busy answering your questions and lifting the lid on the futures of Moussa Dembele, Charlie Austin and Jermain Defoe.
We hosted a live webchat with Chris, who is over in Canada covering the second leg of Sunderland’s tour of North America.
And you can catch up on what was said by clicking here.
Chris reflected on Sunderland’s 3-1 defeat to Club de Futbol Pachuba, what we learned from the game, plus answered questions on the latest transfer news - incomings and outgoings.
Here is a selection of the best questions:
@safc_AoL asked when is the meeting between Dick Advocaat and Short? I hope we have more transfer funds.
CY: It’s happening today, I’d think this afternoon. Short is over here in Toronto and he was watching training this morning. Get the impression that the meeting is more about how much money is still available for transfers, rather than if it is or not.
@DurhamLad86 tweeted ‘good signings so far, are you confident a new central midfielder will be signed before the Leicester game?’
CY: Well, it’s almost 3 weeks to go before Leicester. I’m sure Dick will hope to have more new faces on board by then. I think that gives Sunderland a decent window of opportunity to add to the squad
Daniel Graham Parker @dgp202 asked whether the club is looking to off-load Graham/Fletcher/Buckley and planning to bring in another forward?
CY: As Advocaat explained today, he’s likely to persist with a 4-3-3 this season after the signing of Lens.
So that leaves four strikers fighting for one central striker position. Only Wickham among them can really play wide.
If another striker is going to come in (and I think they need / want one) then one will have to depart. Graham/Fletcher are the most vulnerable with only 12 months on contract.
R.E. Buckley, depends if they get a cash offer to make some of their money back.
Do we realistically have a chance of signing Dembele this summer?
CY: Spurs aren’t pro-actively looking to sell Dembele and his camp aren’t looking to encourage the transfer speculation either. Still trying to find out the extent of Sunderland’s interest in him. But while he’s inconsistent, for me, he’d be perfect for that attacking midfield role.
SAFC Dolphins @sportmad72 asked a toughie...Who would you now go for in the transfer market to strengthen a weak forward line?
CY: Tough one. Everybody is looking for those strikers in the £6-10m bracket that might come good and get you 10+ goals. Even paying more than that doesn’t guarantee anything - not sure about interested clubs having to pay £15m for Charlie Austin, for example.
I know this won’t prove popular, but if you could get Borini for £5m or so, I’d go for him again, without the accompanying transfer saga of course.
@NicksSport wanted to know who has impressed so far on the pre-season tour?
CY: Thought Rodwell did very well for the first 20 minutes or so the other night. There’s been a few decent runs from Matthews, although his defending has been questionable on occasion. Fletcher and Giaccherini have caught the eye in training.
Tom Huntley @tommyplease asked whether Sunderland would sell Defoe if a £2 to £3m offer was received? He didn’t think Defoe fits into Advocaat’s 4-3-3 system.
CY: Good question. I don’t think so at this stage, no. Defoe is still the best finisher they’ve got. A year down the line? Maybe.
Another from Tom, will we look to bring in left back cover? As Jones isn’t capable of being left back cover.
CY: Think it’s more of a possible, than a probable on another left-back.
Expect it to be one that’s looked at later in the window if there’s someone decent available on loan. Other priorities first though.
MichaelBowers15 asked is there any reason why SAFC aren’t going for Charlie Austin?
CY: As I touched on earlier, QPR looking for £15m for Austin. A lot of clubs, including Newcastle, wary of paying that much for him after one season in the PL.
@NicksSport tweeted do you sense Dick is frustrated with the pace of new recruitment coming in? Also do you think he’s realised more £ is required?
CY: On the first part, no, not at all.
Think he’s happy to have four in by now, he’s certainly been very chipper over here since the signings of Lens and Kaboul. And yes, he realises that more ££ is required. He’s just more diplomatic than his two predecessors!
Taz @newmantaz asked whether the lack of friendlies not cause concern? Seems to with fans.
CY: Really? Six is about the right number for me. They played more last season, but then it didn’t seem to alter the pattern of struggle.
As the only journalist from the North East following the club overseas, Chris has been bringing you all the latest on new signings, what we can learn from the friendly games and updates from head coach Dick Advocaat and his squad.
He will also be live blogging the matches and hosting live Q&As on the Sunderland Echo site which can be accessed by clicking here.