Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news RECAP: Lee Johnson eyes new additions as more League One games are postponed
Sunderland may not have a game today after their match against Accrington Stanley was postponed - but there is still plenty going on at the Stadium of Light.
It is the fourth game Sunderland have postponed following the Covid-19 outbreak at the Academy of Light,
The Black Cats squad will return to training in a phased approach this week and hope to still play their League One game away at Northampton Town on Saturday.
Scroll down to catch up with the latest Sunderland AFC news:
SAFC news LIVE: Takeover and transfer latest (December 29)
Last updated: Tuesday, 29 December, 2020, 16:26
- Sunderland have postponed their game against Accrington Stanley.
- The Black Cats are targeting a return to League One action against Northampton Town this weekend.
- Lee Johnson is looking ahead to the January window.
Sunderland may not have a game today after their game against Accrington Stanley was postponed - but there is still plenty going on at the Stadium of Light.
We will have the latest transfer and takeover news throughout the day - stick around and refresh the page for live updates.
The situation as it stands
Sunderland were due to play Accrington Stanley at the Stadium of Light today but the game has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the Academy of Light.
The Black Cats have had thirteen positive cases in their playing staff, including all three goalkeepers.
A number of senior players self-isolating would have only been able to rejoin the group on the day of the game itself.
The club have therefore postponed a fourth fixture, citing the ‘health and wellbeing of all affected.’
Sunderland are targeting a return to League One action against Northampton Town this weekend.
Where the takeover is at
It was confirmed last week that Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is set to purchase a majority stake in Sunderland AFC.
With an agreement now struck, the club's new controlling shareholder will still have to navigate one major hurdle - the EFL owners and directors test, otherwise known as the fit and proper persons test.
It is not envisaged to create any issues, with hopes the green light could be given early in the New Year.
What to expect in January
We are just a few days away from Lee Johnson’s first transfer window as Sunderland boss - so what sohould we expect?
It’s unlikely to be a particularly busy window for the Black Cats in terms of incomings.
Much of that is down to the League One squad and salary caps, which will ultimately dictate much of the business across the division.
Sunderland currently have one space free beneath the 22-man squad cap and Johnson says he has some headroom in terms of wages - meaning new signings are possible.
Pace and power will be top of Johnson’s list for January, with the head coach looking for players who can stretch the opposition in the wide areas.
In terms of outgoings, there are also a dozen players whose contracts expire in the summer, and their futures may well come under the microscope in January.
But there are no obvious candidates to depart as there has been in previous years.
More games called off in League One
Doncaster and Rochdale both saw their fixtures postponed last night - with SEVEN of tonight’s League One games now not taking place.
The EFL, however, are understood to remain ‘confident’ that the season can be completed as planned.
He’s said the right things - but now it’s time for action...
EFL ‘confident’ the season can continue - reports
The EFL remain ‘confident’ that the 2020/21 season can continue as normal despite a steep rise in COVID outbreaks – according to reports.
Sunderland are one of a half a dozen to have seen cases of coronavirus in their ranks over recent weeks, with the EFL fixture list taking a major hit as a result.
Five League One fixtures were postponed on Boxing Day while seven games won’t be played on December 29 – meaning HALF of the 24 third tier fixtures set to take place over the festive period have been postponed.
But Sky Sports claim that the EFL remain ‘confident’ that the season can continue without a break.
It’s understood that the 2020/21 campaign was scheduled to allow for multiple postponements, with there currently being enough flexibility to complete the fixture programme – even if it means that sides such as Sunderland will be playing during most midweeks after the turn of the year.
However, the Sky report suggests that should more fixtures fall victim to postponements – whether due to COVID outbreaks or bad weather – then the schedule may not have room to accommodate all the outstanding fixtures.
Northampton handed contract boost ahead of Sunderland clash
Northampton have been handed a boost ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sunderland - after experienced defender Alan Sheehan penned a new contract with the club.
The former Luton and Lincoln man was set to see his short-term deal expire in January, but has now put pen to paper on fresh terms.
Sheehan has been injured in recent weeks - but could yet feature against the Black Cats.
This could yet come into play this season...
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