Sunderland WILL replace Bent, says Quinn

BEST SIGNING ... David Miliband with Niall Quinn at the Stadium of Light.
BEST SIGNING ... David Miliband with Niall Quinn at the Stadium of Light.
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NIALL Quinn says Sunderland have yet to draw up a firm list of replacements for departed striker Darren Bent.

But the chairman insists that Bent WILL be replaced this summer as Sunderland look to continue to make progress as a Premier League force.

Reports have linked Sunderland with French international striker Kevin Gameiro, who has also attracted interest from Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool.

At 5ft 8in, the 23-year-old Lorient frontman is not the tallest, but he has scored 43 goals in 96 league games for his club.

Quinn, though, says Sunderland are in the process of amassing information on players rather than readying bids.

He told the Echo: “It’s important that you’re always a transfer window ahead in this business and we’ve already started looking at the summer.

“But we haven’t reached the stage yet where we’ve drawn up lists with named targets in order of priority.

“One thing that we absolutely keen on is making sure we get the right player and the right sort of person for this club. But obviously there are one or two places that need strengthening and with Darren Bent having gone in the January transfer window, that’s obviously something to look at.”

Quinn says that the club must look to be ambitious in the transfer market while it can, with new rules set to be introduced by Uefa which threaten to ban clubs from European competitions unless they can balance the books.

Sunderland made a £26million loss last season but that was not a problem for billionaire owner Ellis Short, who is prepared to absorb those losses while he grows the club.

That option might disappear though under the new Uefa ruling and Quinn said: “There’s the possibility for clubs like ours that they might invest in order to improve, be prepared to take short-term losses for the sake of longer-term success and suddenly find that they might qualify for Europe but not be able to take up that option.

“That’s a situation that people are looking at but in the meantime we still hope to be ambitious in the transfer market if and when we need to be because we are trying to take the club forward.”