Simon Grayson on Gradel, Snodgrass, Ndong and Sunderland transfers

Ndong has been linked with a move away
Ndong has been linked with a move away
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After a busy start to the summer, business at Sunderland has been slow.

There have been no incomings since the arrival of Robbin Ruiter, no outgoings since Jeremain Lens finally landed his move to Istanbul.

Simon Grayson remains relaxed, as he has been throughout a frenetic first few months as Sunderland boss.

The Black Cats manager has again been eager to offer a reminder that the financial situation on Wearside means he is operating in a different market to many of his Championship rivals, one that requires patience and initiative.

There is no disguising the disappointment of missing out on Max Gradel, one of Grayson's primary transfer targets and a player he thought he had landed almost a month ago.

The player had then been very keen on making the switch, with playing for Grayson the key incentive, but Bournemouth stalled and when the chance to move to France subsequently materialized, the Black Cats missed out. Gradel, though often played out wide in recent years, would have been Sunderland's main weapon through the middle and his pace would have offered the side a radically different option.

Par for the course in the modern market, with Grayson also aware that finances could well prevent a move for Robert Snodgrass, available this summer and who he managed, alongside Gradel, to great success at Saturday's opponents Leeds United.

"We’re talking all the time, regarding ins and outs. I think things are going to go to the last few days, we’re prepared for any eventuality. We were disappointed to miss out on Max, that’s just out of our control, his family wanted to go to France," he said.

"We agreed a deal three weeks ago with Bournemouth and they changed their mind because he’d done so well in pre-season. If it’d been three weeks ago he’d have been on our books, unfortunately that’s football and that’s how any deal can have any impact.

"We're in a position where we don't have loads of money to go and get players willy-nilly, we have to make sure they are the right players and over time other options become available.

"I was offered a player yesterday who I would take tomorrow if I had the finances to do it [thought to be Robert Snodgrass], and that is something to consider," he added.

"So you have to be careful because it is easy to sign someone and then you wish you'd waited because you could have got someone else."

"It has to be the right person at the right time, and for the right money as well."

Key to the picture is also outgoings, with Grayson admitting that he is currently operating in the loan market until players leave for permanent fees.

Didier Ndong is the latest to be linked with a move away but the Sunderland boss has said he will have no qualms if his current squad stays together.

Lamine Kone has particularly impressed and it is a sign for Grayson that the current players can and will buy into his methods and the demands of the Championship.

"It will help [to sign new players] as far as the financial aspect goes if some players do go, because it will free up wages and money," he said.

"But there is still a little bit left in the budget to bring in other players.

"Max Gradel is a player we would have signed, and could have signed still, so that tells you there is some money available to do a deal or two.

"If others go out, they will need replacing and that money will be used to bring more players in.

"I'm not trying to move any player out, to be fair.

"It's about what the players themselves want.

"I know there will be one or two players who will feel that they want a new challenge, a move, and if that arises then we will deal with the situation."

"But if all the players are still here on September 1, and we have maybe added one or two, I think we will have a really good squad," he added.

"You look at Lamine, he has been outstanding since the start of the season alongside Tyias.

"[Wahbi] Khazri is a talented player who hasn't had much game-time due to the fact that others have played well."