big sam aims to loan with option to buy

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce 17-10-2015. Picture by FRANK REID

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce 17-10-2015. Picture by FRANK REID

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Sunderland will predominantly be in the market for loan deals, with an option to buy, in the January transfer window.

Sam Allardyce has been active in identifying potential January targets over recent weeks, with the Sunderland manager travelling to France to watch Lorient against PSG 10 days ago.

Sunderland have also been scouting QPR frontman Charlie Austin, while Olympiakos left-back Arthur Masuaku is another who has been on the club’s radar.

But despite back-to-back wins taking Sunderland out of the relegation zone, Allardyce realises that the Black Cats will still be in the thick of the survival battle in January and that will affect the quantity and quality of players willing to move to the Stadium of Light.

Rather than shell out long contracts on recruits who might not necessarily improve the squad, Allardyce believes the best options available could be on loan until the end of the season, with the possibility of a permanent deal in the summer.

Allardyce said: “I’d say we’ll be looking at loans, with the opportunity to buy.

“That gives us the chance to have a look at them.

“The reality is will someone come and face the fight?

“Will they want to come and sign a long-term contract with the possibility that we might get relegated?

“The best situation we’ll be in in January is still out of the bottom three.”

Allardyce has challenged his existing players to prove that they are good enough to minimise the investment required by Sunderland in January, and is yet to make up his mind on those who could potentially leave the club.

But Sunderland will need to offload more of those who are considered surplus to requirements after midfielder Liam Bridcutt sealed a loan move to Leeds last week.

Bridcutt is expected to remain at Leeds until the end of the season, yet his move to Elland Road saw Will Buckley return in the opposite direction after starting just one game for the Championship outfit.

Sunderland will attempt to move on Buckley again in January, yet also need to find new clubs for Roberto De Fanti captures Charis Mavrias and Valentin Roberge, who remain at the Stadium of Light, despite efforts to offload them on loan during the summer.