GUS POYET will be happy with Sunderland’s transfer business if the Black Cats can address three key areas before the end of the window.
Winger Will Buckley became the seventh arrival of the summer at the Stadium of Light this week after joining in a £2.5million move from Brighton.
But Sunderland are still looking for further recruits to boost a squad which lost the services of 12 players at the end of last season.
Liverpool striker Fabio Borini remains Sunderland’s main target, with Poyet declaring yesterday that it wasn’t a lack of commitment to joining the Black Cats which was delaying the Italian’s return to Wearside.
But Poyet is also keen to boost his options in defence and central midfield.
Despite reports, the Echo understands that Sunderland are NOT interested in Manchester City’s Micah Richards, who has been offered to several Premier League clubs - including Newcastle - this summer.
Sunderland are also having to look at fresh targets in midfield after a loan move for Man City’s Bruno Zuculini fell through due to Premier League rules.
Zuculini, who arrived in a £3m deal from Argentine side Racing Club this summer, is not able to join a Premier League club and then immediately move to another on loan - due to Financial Fair Play legislation - and is now heading to La Liga outfit Deportivo La Coruna.
But while Poyet is wary of putting a specific figure on how many more signings he is still looking for, he admitted he would be content if those inside forward, midfield and defensive areas were strengthened.
He told the Echo: “I’d be happy if we got those three players, depending on who they are of course. It’s difficult to put a number on it.
“But we need someone at the back. It will depend what it’s going to be (a centre-back or a full-back).
“People naturally think that Santi (Vergini) is more of a centre-back than a full-back. He could be either.
“We need that (Borini) option - someone bringing in goals and working up and down.
“And we’re missing someone in midfield. We were very close to someone. I think the number (of our squad) is going to be about 23.”
Poyet admits the capture of seven players in time for today’s top flight opener at West Brom has softened the blow of waiting to sign Borini - more than four weeks after Sunderland’s £14m bid was accepted by Liverpool.
But the head coach was at pains to point out that the delay has nothing to do with Borini not being keen to return Sunderland after last season’s successful loan spell.
There have been suggestions that a second loan deal could be a resolution to Sunderland’s pursuit and the Echo understands that is a possibility.
“If I didn’t have the other seven players, then I would be devastated (over Borini),” said Poyet.
“But slowly, we have got there.
“I’ve got options for today. For the season, no. It would be very dangerous to finish the transfer window as we are now.
“That’s the situation we’re working towards now; to make sure we’ve got a balanced squad.”
He added: “It’s not like Borini doesn’t want to come and we’re trying to convince him.
“I talked to Fabio and that is not the case. It’s about doing it at the right time.
“He’s come back to fitness and training with the (Liverpool) team. So he wouldn’t be fit for today anyway. So calm, please!”