Sunderland remain on track to re-invest the money from the sale of Connor Wickham back into the squad this week.
Wickham has completed his £9million switch to Crystal Palace, with the 22-year-old penning a five-year deal at Selhurst Park after the Eagles met Sunderland’s asking price with an improved bid last week.
I think I needed the fresh start, I had four years up north and it’s been a bit stop-start,” said Wickham after being unveiled by Palace.
A chunk of the money will immediately go on midfield pair Leroy Fer and Yann M’Vila, whose moves to the Stadium of Light are still on course to be done in time for the start of the season this weekend.
French international M’Vila will join on a season-long loan from Russian club Ruben Kazan, potentially with a view to a longer-team deal, and the switch could be completed within the next 48 hours.
There are not thought to be any major obstacles to overcome though, with paperwork proving to be the main delay.
Fer’s loan is likely to be rubber-stamped later in the week, but the Dutch international is closing in on a move to Sunderland, despite talk of late interest from West Ham and PSV.
The 25-year-old – cousin of Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt – will pen a loan deal with no commitment to buy next summer, with QPR keen to remove him from the wage bill after last year’s relegation.
Sunderland also remain in the market for another striker and are in talks with various targets to replace Wickham, which are thought to include loan options.
Danny Graham or Steven Fletcher could depart along with Wickham too – with the pair both in the final 12 months of their contracts – but Sunderland have managed to make a profit on the £8m they paid Ipswich to land the striker in the summer of 2011.
Wickham only penned a new four-year contract at Sunderland last December after the England Under-21 international played a huge role in the Great Escape two seasons ago when he finally became a first-team regular with the Black Cats.
But Wickham continued to be a figure who divided opinion – finishing Sunderland’s joint top scorer with just six goals last season, albeit he spent much of the campaign on the left wing.
“I think I needed the fresh start, I had four years up north and it’s been a bit stop-start,” said Wickham after being unveiled by Palace.
“Now I’ve come back home and I can settle down and see my family a bit more and hopefully let my football do the talking.”