Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald has revealed that the club are set for a timely transfer budget boost - with the January window opening in a matter of days.
But that boost won’t come from Didier Ndong, despite the midfielder agreeing a deal to join French outfit Guingamp yesterday.
The 24-year-old, whose Sunderland contract was terminated in October, is set to sign for the Ligue 1 basement side after a move was agreed ‘in principle’.
The deal, however, hinges on two key conditions being met.
Firstly, Ndong will have to pass a medical at his new club, with Guingamp stating that the move is ‘conditioned to the traditional medical visit’ - which could be a concern given the midfielder has scarcely played in 2018.
However, his new employers claim that he is undergoing a ‘specific program of recovery’ at their training base in order to ensure he is fit and ready for their relegation fight.
The French side also claim that an ‘agreement with Sunderland’ also needs to be reached.
Previous reports had suggested that the Black Cats would be entitled to a fee of around £3.5million when Ndong found a new club - and it seems an amount close to this figure will be handed over in the near future.
Guingamp remain confident of sealing a deal by next week, with Ndong not officially able to join a new club until January 1.
And while a substantial sum could be headed towards the Stadium of Light, it is understood that the money will not be going into Jack Ross’ transfer kitty.
Executive director Charlie Methven has previously confirmed that money received from any Ndong transfer - or a deal involving Papy Djilobodji - would be used to help brings the clubs finances ‘under control’.
Methven said: “So we had to sign off on an FFI (Future Financial Information agreement), which was our business plan and included how we would bring our finances under control.
“Two of the assumptions in that were that Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong would leave the club. So them leaving does not mean there is money to spend in January.
“For us to be able to bring in more players, our current wage outgoings will have to be reduced. It is as simple as that.”
However, the Black Cats are set for a susbtantial budget boost from an alternative source.
Donald has confirmed that Boxing Day’s bumper crowd of 46,039 has allowed the club to pump extra funds into Ross’ January budget.
Not only did the crowd set a new League One record - surpassing Leeds’ attendance against Gillingham in 2008 - but it also provided the cub with an extra £300,000 ahead of a crucial transfer window.
Such news is timely given the close proximity of the window and will the Black Cats to strengthen in key areas as they aim to sustain their promotion push.
Ross revealed last week that he was hopeful one deal would be concluded in January, and Donald has now hinted that the club have a ‘couple in mind’ when it comes to new recruits.
Replying to a supporter on Twitter, the Sunderland chief said: “No giveaways - but about 300k into the transfer kitty for signings and wages - we have a couple in mind.”
Ross is thought to be eyeing defensive recruits when the transfer window opens, as he eyes depth in all areas ahead of the season run-in.