What can Sunderland AFC fans expect on transfer deadline day?

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.
Sunderland boss Simon Grayson.
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One thing is for sure, the Sunderland squad has to be stronger by 11pm tonight if the club is to mount any kind of promotion push this campaign.

Sunderland started the season well enough, a point at home to Derby County followed by four points on the road at Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday harbouring hopes of a strong campaign.

But the wheels have fallen off in the league since with back-to-back defeats to Leeds United and Barnsley, the drubbing at Oakwell hitting some supporters hard.

Simon Grayson has not hid the fact that he needs to add quality to the squad yet Sunderland haven't signed anyone since August 2 when Robbin Ruiter walked through the doors.

On deadline day, Sunderland are targeting reinforcements in attack, defence and ideally out wide too with Wahbi Khazri set to get his wish of leaving granted and Papy Djilobodji the subject of late interest.

What can Sunderland fans expect? Expect a nail-biting final day of the summer transfer window.

Grayson wants to land striker Ross McCormack from Aston Villa on loan, though it will likely come down to which of the interested parties is willing to pay more towards his wage.

Should Leeds United not push their interest further then Sunderland are in pole position to land the Scotland international. It needs to happen.

This Sunderland side is woefully short of goals. Lewis Grabban has three but James Vaughan is yet to get off the mark and we shouldn't expect too much, too soon from teenagers Josh Maja and Joel Asoro.

Duncan Watmore's return will be a boost but he is likely to be deployed out wide. The Echo understands that Sunderland are not putting all their striking eggs in one basket.

Should McCormack not come off they will have to look elsewhere but Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill looks to be too expensive and out of reach, with Grayson's former side adamant they won't be selling the striker.

Another option is Jordan Rhodes. The Sheffield Wednesday striker is available for transfer or loan before the window closes but Sunderland would face stiff competition, with Wolves interested too.

Elsewhere, Sunderland will look to add at least one other defender with experienced Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick, Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo and versatile Bournemouth defender/midfielder Marc Wilson all options.

Will Sunderland be spending big today? No. That much is clear. Unless there is a raft of player sales to free up funds for Grayson, then expect Sunderland to be operating in the loan market or deals similar in value to that of Vaughan (£500,000), Jason Steele (£500,000) or Aiden McGeady (£250,000).

EFL rules state that a club can only name 5 loanees in any matchday squad.

Sunderland already have three established first team players on loan in Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway and Lewis Grabban. Room for two more.

Sunderland need at least two to three new faces in before 11pm, with a striker at the very least.

An intriguing day awaits.