GUS POYET and Ellis Short have held a further round of talks to clarify Sunderland’s strategy for the final 10 days of the transfer window.
Head coach Poyet, chairman Short and sporting director Lee Congerton were all in the stand at Sunderland Under-21s’ clash with Liverpool on Tuesday night to see the Black Cats’ youngsters in action.
And the trio met again at the Academy of Light yesterday for discussions over Sunderland’s transfer hit-list before the window shuts on Monday, September 1.
Despite Sunderland bringing seven players to Wearside already this summer, Short realises that the Black Cats require further reinforcements after losing 12 players at the end of last season, followed by the return to Argentina of January recruit Nacho Scocco.
And Short is understood to be prepared to back Poyet and Congerton in the transfer market with several more arrivals.
Poyet wants to see at least three key areas of the squad addressed before the deadline, with a defender, central midfielder and a left-sided forward – either long-term target Fabio Borini or an alternative – on the Uruguayan’s wish-list.
It is thought that the defender and forward are the two most pressing concerns among those three areas.
But the investment of around £15million in Jack Rodwell, Patrick van Aanholt and Will Buckley, plus three Bosman signings and loan arrival Santiago Vergini, has stretched Sunderland’s transfer budget.
Sunderland are looking at the loan market to fill several of the remaining pieces of the jigsaw, with the Black Cats still having two available domestic loans available to take players from their Premier League rivals.
One of those could be Borini, with Sunderland still open to the idea of signing the Liverpool frontman on a second season-long loan, if their £14m move for the Italian falls through.
There are major doubts now over whether Borini will re-join on a permanent basis, despite Poyet continuing to stress his confidence that the 23-year-old will complete a move to Wearside.
Sunderland have been considering alternative options after making an enquiry for QPR-bound Chile international Eduardo Vargas last week.
But the Black Cats are unlikely to make a move for former loanee Danny Welbeck, despite reports to the contrary.
Welbeck’s future at Manchester United is uncertain under new boss Louis van Gaal, but neither Sunderland nor Hull’s ex-Black Cats manager Steve Bruce are expected to move for the England international.