Sunderland transfers: Black Cats chief planning summer activity

Sunderland transfers: Chief executive Margaret Brennan says the Black Cats are already plotting their summer transfer activity

martin o'neiil
Martin O'Neill signed three players for Sunderland in January Photo: Back Page Images

martin o'neiil

Sunderland have already started to plan their summer transfer activity, according to the club’s chief executive Margaret Byrne.

Martin O’Neill’s side are five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone as the Black Cats edge towards securing their top-flight status for another season.

The former Northern Ireland international signed Swansea striker Danny Graham, Alfred N’Diaye and Kader Mangane on loan during the January transfer window.

But the 61-year-old O’Neill is already casting an eye over potential summer deals in a bid to bolster his squad before pre-season training starts.

“People sometimes say that the search for new signings begins on February 1, but I think it actually begins earlier than that, it begins in January,” Byrne told the Shields Gazette.

“It begins then because you’re looking at possible signings that can’t happen in that window, but might happen in the next.

“The ideal scenario is to get all the players in before pre-season – that’s something you always hope for – but you aim for it in the full knowledge that in reality it is always unlikely to happen.”

She added: “You always have to have a Plan B and C as well as a Plan A.

“Nine times out of 10, you get your Plan A – Steven Fletcher is one example, Martin O’Neill always wanted him and was prepared to wait – but you always have to other options in the background. It provides a safety net.

“The way it can work at times, it’s no exaggeration to say you might be looking at 15 players for just two positions.

“It can be as complex as that, which obviously makes the windows very high-pressurised affairs.”

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