Sam Allardyce admits he had hoped that Sunderland’s business would be concluded by this stage of the January transfer window.
Sunderland have brought in two new players this month, with the arrival of Jan Kirchhoff and Dame N’Doye, yet Allardyce still wants to add a further three faces before the transfer deadline on Monday-week.
The Black Cats are expected to add a third-choice goalkeeper – likely to be an out-of-contract player – as back-up to Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford next week, but it is another defender and forward which are proving to be more problematic.
Swansea’s Andre Ayew remains a player that Sunderland are eager to sign to address the attacking void, and the Black Cats are understood to be continuing their attempts to negotiate a deal for the Ghana international.
Ayew’s camp are thought to be open to a move to the Stadium of Light, even though Swansea have insisted that the 26-year-old is not for sale.
However, new Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin is understood to be a fan of Sunderland forward Fabio Borini, with the idea of a potential swap deal involving the Italian believed to have originated from the Welsh club.
As reported yesterday though, Borini, himself, expects to remain at Sunderland beyond the transfer window, with the ex-Liverpool man unaware of anything concrete behind the speculation.
Allardyce insists Sunderland are looking to do more incoming business though, even if it is taking longer than he originally expected.
He said: “We’ve been trying on several players for a long time.
“If everything had gone according to plan, we’d be finishing now.
“But everything hasn’t done and we’re not finished yet.
“In realistic terms, I haven’t done bad getting in two players as quick as I can. Normally, it’s the last four days of January.
“Then you’re running around like a lunatic trying to secure that last deal, which have gone from this money to this much money.
“Sometimes you have to take that chance and wait that long, but hopefully not.
“We’ve already got two in and we are obviously pushing for two more outfield players if we can.
“Now Costel (Pantilimon) has gone, I think I need to find a third goalkeeper as well, which I don’t think will be a problem.”
The departures of goalkeeper Pantilimon and striker Danny Graham have helped Allardyce’s bid to bring in fresh blood though, by freeing up funds on the club’s wage bill.
”Yes, getting rid of players helps with the wage scenario, because it’s restricted today,” added Allardyce.
“You just can’t spend as much on wages as you feel like any more.
“That makes it even more difficult, but that’s the rules, that’s what we have to manage.”