Simon Grayson reveals whether Sunderland will dip into the free agent market

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.
Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.

Simon Grayson is pleased with his Sunderland options but hasn’t ruled out dipping into the free agent market.

The Sunderland squad has overseen a major overhaul with 10 new faces arriving, including three on deadline day.

While permanent and loan signings are now out of the question until January, clubs can still sign free agents - and Grayson admits agents have already been in touch about some players currently without clubs.

Sunderland failed to land a new striker on deadline day but bringing in a free agent remains a possibility.

Grayson said: “We’re going to have strength in depth with Duncan Watmore coming back and Paddy McNair and Josh Maja sooner or later so the strength in depth is better than before the window shut.

“We’ve got players now who want to be here and hopefully they’ll do whatever’s required to get results.

“I’m not going to say there won’t be targets still out there who are available to sign because we’d be foolish not to look at that.

“Since the window shut I’ve had agents ringing me and texting me to say they’ve got this, that and the other available who’d like to play for Sunderland but it’s about seeing what we’ve got as a squad and what money’s left in the budget.”

Sunderland added defender Marc Wilson on deadline day along with midfielders Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams but there was to be no additional firepower up front.

Grayson added: “Everybody gets carried away that everyone wants a centre forward, the finished article.

“It is not feasible sometimes. Why would a football club let a talented centre forward out on loan or permanently to maybe a rival or to a club that you see as competition, ultimately they won’t get a replacement in.

“It wasn’t as if we weren’t talking to clubs. I didn’t feel like it was a necessity. Everybody else was talking like it was. We have players in the squad who can play adaptable positions.

“Watmore will come back, we have Vaughan and Grabban and could play with one up front or play others as No.10.

“Some of the figures getting banded about, you were astounded by the figures being talked about that day.

“We have good players at this club. Some of their records speak for themselves. It isn’t always about taking the chances when they come along, it is sometimes the decision making trying to create chances too.

“We now have players that have added quality in the top end of the pitch.”

Two players that Sunderland are understood to have made enquiries about were Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack and Sheffield Wednesday frontman Jordan Rhodes.

Grayson added: “I’m not one for talking about individuals but we did talk to clubs about a lot of other players.

“We talked to other clubs on certain players that nobody has ever mentioned.

“We were close to agreeing a fee with one of them that nobody mentioned whatsoever. That’s how it can be.

“Sometimes it can be a game of chess where I lead you all down a garden path while we go down a different avenue.”