Sunderland AFC transfers: Signings the club are looking to make this summer and which players could leave the club

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Sunderland have eight Championship games remaining this season – yet the club will already be making plans about potential signings this summer.

The Black Cats have assembled a young squad in recent transfer windows, yet there are some clear gaps within the group which have shown in recent weeks.

But what can Sunderland fans expect this summer? Where will they look to strengthen? And which players could leave the club?

We’ve taken a closer look at the situation:

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Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray.Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray.
Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray.

Which players could leave the club?

In terms of contracts, Sunderland are in a good position heading into the summer.

Carl Winchester, who is on loan at Shrewsbury, is the only player whose deal is set to expire, with the 29-year-old not set to be offered a new deal at the Stadium of Light – despite being a key player in the Black Cats’ promotion campaign.

Sunderland have also allowed Bailey Wright (Rotherham), Jack Diamond (Lincoln), Jay Matete (Plymouth) and Leon Dajaku (St Gallen) to leave on loan this season.

While Matete, 22, signed a long-term deal on Wearside last year, there will be doubts about the futures of the other three aforementioned players.

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Wright, 30, joined Rotherham to play regular first-team football, after making just six Championship starts for Sunderland in the first half of the campaign, and may opt for a permanent move away with a year left on his Black Cats contract.

Diamond, 23, is another player whose first-team opportunities have been limited, with players such as Patrick Roberts and Jack Clarke ahead of him in the attacking wide positions. For that reason, a permanent move away is also a possibility as the winger, who also has a year left on his Sunderland contract, seeks consistent game time.

Dajaku, 21, could find himself in a similar position, while the length of the German’s contract has never been disclosed after his permanent move to Wearside was confirmed last summer.

Joe Gelhardt and Amad will return to Leeds and Manchester United respectively following their loan spells at Sunderland, and it seems unlikely either will return to the Stadium of Light at this stage.

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What can fans expect this summer?

Sunderland have an option to sign midfielder Edouard Michut on a permanent deal at the end of the season, following his initial loan spell from PSG.

It’s been reported the Black Cats could sign the 20-year-old for an initial €2.5 million fee, which seems like a good price for a player with lots of potential who has started eight of the side’s last 10 matches.

It does, though, remain unclear exactly what Sunderland’s budget will be this summer, and how much they are willing to spend to strengthen other positions.

The main priority has to be signing at least one additional striker, with Ross Stewart the only centre-forward under contract for next season.

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While a loan deal could provide a solution, Sunderland will also want to make a permanent signing, after missing out on 20-year-old striker Andras Nemeth, who instead signed for German club Hamburg, in January.

We can also expect the Black Cats to stick with their approach of prominently trying to sign young players who can be long-term assets and are likely to increase in value.

Who could Sunderland sign?

In terms of players Sunderland could sign, Ellis Simms’ situation at Everton is worth keeping an eye on if the Toffees stay in the Premier League.

While the 22-year-old made an impact by coming off the bench and scoring an equaliser against Chelsea last weekend, Everton will be looking to bolster their forward options in the summer.

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Simms has a year left on his contract at Goodison Park and is at a stage in his career where he will want regular first-team football, while he already has a positive reputation on Wearside.

Nottingham Forest forward Sam Surridge is another Premier League player who Sunderland were linked with in January and, despite playing more games at the turn of the year, has not featured regularly at the City Ground this campaign.

Like Simms, the 24-year-old fits the profile of what Sunderland are looking for, yet they would face competition to sign him.

Blackpool striker Jerry Yates was also linked with the Black Cats in January, yet it’s understood the 26-year-old wasn't on the club’s radar.

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In terms of other positions, Sunderland will be looking to strengthen their holding midfield options, with captain Corry Evans expected to miss the start of next season with an ACL injury.

They will also have to look at replacing the influential Amad, who has contributed with nine league goals this season.

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What's Tony Mowbray said about potential business this summer?

Earlier this month Mowbray spoke about adding more options to his squad so they can adapt against different opponents.

The Black Cats boss has regularly spoken about not having forward players who can stretch the game and run in behind opposition defences in the absence of Stewart.

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Following Sunderland’s dismal 5-1 defeat by Stoke at the start of March, Mowbray said: “We haven't got loads of options to change it, I'm very conscious that we could have made some more changes later in the game but I don't think it would have been right to expose three 18,19-year-old kids to that

"When the next window comes along, make sure we have the options to have a Plan B when we have days like today and teams who are really good out of possession stop you playing, so you can go over the top, you can drop diagonals over the press and play in behind them. At the moment, it doesn't feel like we've got that option.”