Sunderland look to offload misfits in emergency window

Danny Graham.
Danny Graham.

THE emergency transfer window opens this week with Sunderland expecting plenty of offers for their promising youngsters.

But the Black Cats’ priority will be with the immediate future of two of their senior players – Danny Graham and Cabral.

Both are surplus to requirements at the Stadium of Light and have been for some time but neither was shifted in the transfer window.

And Gus Poyet and Lee Congerton will look to move on both highly paid players in order to reduce their wage bill, as well as to offer opportunities to the players themselves.

Charlton Athletic have already been linked to Graham.

The Addicks have a long-standing interest in the Gateshead-born striker and enquired about him before he moved to Watford in 2009.

The Championship side are currently on the look-out for reinforcements up front and Graham fits the bill but several sides could be interested in the Martin O’Neill signing if the right deal could be done in terms of the player’s Premier League size wages.

Graham has been out on loan several times since his move to Sunderland failed to pay off and the frontman is likely to be keen to take another loan move rather than kick his heels at the Academy of Light.

Cabral might be harder to move on. The club worked hard in the summer transfer window to find him a place, in the same way they succeeded in offloading fellow misfits Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite.

But none of the opportunities appealed to the former Basel midfielder and Congerton will look at what options might be available before the emergency loan window closes on Thursday, November 27.

Meanwhile, there will be no shortage of takers for some of the youth products at the Academy who are looking to make big strides forwards in their career this season.

Attackers Mikael Mandron and Duncan Watmore, in particular, will have a host of suitors for their signatures, with League One and Two sides potentially interested.

But Poyet’s main concern will be that young players going out get first-team experience rather than be used to reinforce the squad and options of the host club.

While there are always spin-off benefits to youngsters going out on loan in terms of their personal development and maturity, the Black Cats’ head coach sees the primary purpose of the loan system as giving first-team experience to developing players.

Asked whether Sunderland might be busy in the emergency loan window, he told the Echo: “It’s a possibility without a doubt.

“We’ve had enquiries about David Ferguson, Mikael Mandron and Watmore already, and the goalkeepers have already gone. I’m sure there’s going to be more a few players that are interesting other teams, but those are the main ones we’re looking at.

“We didn’t want to do anything too early, because we didn’t know the final squad.”

That squad was finalised last week when a 21-man list of senior players was officially submitted at the end of the summer transfer window – the likes of Connor Wickham, Charis Mavrias, Jordan Pickford and El Hadji-Ba (who is on loan at French side Bastia) still young enough to be included on the Under-21 list.

And although the summer transfer window proved a busy one for Sunderland with nine players arriving and even more departing, Poyet and Congerton can expect to be busy negotiating a few more moves.

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