Sunderland boss doesn’t have to sell to buy

Danny Graham

Danny Graham

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GUS Poyet insists Sunderland’s January business is not dependant on outgoings, even if any sales inevitably boost their transfer kitty.

Sunderland are yet to bring in any fresh faces during this transfer window, with the market subdued throughout the Premier League.

But there is interest in two under-used members of Sunderland’s attacking ranks, with Jozy Altidore and Danny Graham both potentially leaving the Stadium of Light this month.

The departures of the pair – who together cost Sunderland more than £10million in transfer fees and are both on big-money contracts on Wearside – could lead to a re-think of the Black Cats’ recruitment plans.

But when asked if any incomings this month depended on sales, Poyet said: “No, no.

“But that can help for other things.

“The idea is to add something to the squad.

“And then if someone wants to leave or not, you might have an opportunity because of the shape of the team.

“You have to be on standby because you don’t know if anything happens or not.”

Reports emerged in America earlier this week that a trio of MLS sides – Toronto FC, Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls – were in talks to take Altidore back to his homeland in the January window.

Toronto are understood to be the front-runners for Altidore’s signature – providing they can offload ex-England striker Jermain Defoe – although discussions are still thought to be at an early stage, with no fee agreed for the American frontman.

Poyet was coy on the speculation surrounding Altidore, with the 25-year-old due to be in the squad for today’s visit of Liverpool.

“Rumours? Yes,” said Poyet.

“I met the agent once, last summer.

“It’s everything coming from America which is not nice.

“It would be different if we knew something.

“When too many people know what’s going on, it’s difficult.

“If you say you are interested in a player, the rest of the team start looking at that player and get involved.”

Poyet similarly insists Graham is not on the verge of leaving the club.

Graham returned from a six-week loan spell at Championship Wolves last week and there have been suggestions that he could link up with his former Watford manager Malky Mackay at Wigan.

But Poyet said: “At the moment, there have been no approaches.

“He’s going to be with us.

“He’s sharper. He came back really sharp which is good. That’s what games do.”