Sunderland ready to act in transfer market, says O’Neill

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill
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MARTIN O’Neill says many Premier League clubs might be keeping their powder dry in the current transfer window after getting their fingers burned last summer.

But he says Sunderland are not among them.

And rather than waiting to see what happens at other clubs, Sunderland already have a clear idea of exactly who they want on Wearside next season.

With little more than three weeks remaining until the start of the new season, transfer business in the Premier League has been steady rather than spectacular.

And the Black Cats boss told the Echo: “It’s quite possible that many clubs will look to do their transfer business later this time around.

“They may well be wanting to take their time over their moves.

“They may well be waiting to see what happens with a few high profile transfers they could be anticipating in the market and then look to exploit whatever situation arises from that.

“But that’s not a scenario that applies to us.

“We’re in a situation where we know exactly who we are after and we are in the process of trying to acquire them.”

Last summer several clubs spent big and early and were left to repent at their leisure – Liverpool in particular with the £35m spent on Andy Carroll and £20m on Jordan Henderson – being viewed as vastly over-inflated fees in the context of how last season unfolded.

“I wasn’t involved in the transfer market last season,” O’Neill pointed out. “But it may well be that clubs are being a bit more cautious this time around.”

Sunderland have moved on well over a dozen players from last season’s squad, including the likes of Craig Gordon, Asamoah Gyan, George McCartney and Cristian Riveros but have brought only one new face in so far, in the shape of ex-Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar.

But O’Neill is hopeful of making a breakthrough soon.

He said: “The aim is to get players in before the new season because we want to bed them in if possible.

“And certainly we want to get the players we want in before the transfer deadline closes.”