Sunderland will let players go in transfer window - but only after next week

Danny Graham. Picture by FRANK REID
Danny Graham. Picture by FRANK REID
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Sunderland’s fringe players will not be allowed to leave the Stadium of Light until a gruelling week of three successive away games is over.

The Black Cats have received enquiries from several Championship outfits for those who have had a limited involvement this season, including Blackburn target Danny Graham.

There’ve been lots of enquiries, from a few Championship clubs for Danny and others.

Sam Allardyce

But with today’s FA Cup third round clash at Arsenal the first of three tough away games in the space of eight days, Sam Allardyce needs as many bodies as possible at his disposal.

Allardyce is ready to let players leave before the end of the month, but will wait until next Saturday’s trip to Spurs is concluded before there are further departures after Liam Bridcutt extending his loan spell at Leeds United earlier this week.

The only exception to that rule will be Will Buckley – who hasn’t made a first-team appearance all season – with the ex-Brighton winger expected to depart early next week, amid interest from Birmingham City.

Allardyce told the Echo: “Yes, we’ll wait until after this week coming up before we let players go.

“There’ve been lots of enquiries, from a few Championship clubs for Danny and others.

“Obviously we’ve let Bridcutt extend his loan at Leeds United and, realistically, from his and our point of view, he shouldn’t come back here.

“He’s found it extremely difficult here and he’s made it clear that he doesn’t like the place.

“That’s an easy decision.

“But Danny is needed.

“Since I’ve been here, he’s trained hard and always wanted to try his best, and hasn’t got too frustrated about not getting his chance.

“He’ll certainly be used over this week, but, after that, we may let him go and think a move is okay for him.”

Graham, along with fellow frontman Steven Fletcher, is out of contract this summer and that is a factor which could see one or both leave the club in this window.

There is minimal chance of Graham being offered fresh terms with Sunderland willing to offload the £5million ex-Swansea man, while there is a possibility that Fletcher could pen a pre-contract agreement with long-term suitors Celtic this month.

Allardyce added: “Maybe that (the contract situation) has to come into it. And that could clear the way for me to bring someone else in.

“It’s a balancing act for me. It’s a good job I’m a Libra!”