SUNDERLAND expect to make rapid progress on the transfer front in the next few days with Ji Dong-Won and Darron Gibson’s moves close to completion.
With free transfers Kieren Westwood and Seb Larsson also almost done and David Ngog set to agree to move from Liverpool, the Black Cats can hope to have five new recruits in the very near future.
Question marks remain over whether Manchester United’s Wes Brown and, in particular, John O’Shea will join Gibson in heading to the Stadium of Light.
But talks will be held with their agents before the end of June in a bid to push the deals through and that could leave the Black Cats with seven new signings before the players return to training – eight if a move is done swiftly for Birmingham City’s midfield star Craig Gardner.
Supporters can then expect a lull in activity throughout July and until the impending closure of the transfer window arrives, at which point several genuinely big deals could be sanctioned.
Sunderland still want Charles N’Zogbia from Wigan but the Latics are likely to want a transfer fee in double figures in terms of millions, while the player’s wage demands would smash the club’s current pay structure.
On top of that, Bruce remains in the market for a fourth striker and with Ji regarded as one for the future and Ngog’s record hardly prolific, Bruce could be asking the club to approve a big-name signing as first choice to partner Asamoah Gyan up front next season.
As things stand, the Westwood deal is past the post with the ex-Coventry City keeper’s move already tied up and only the timing of his official unveiling to be decided. The player is currently on holiday.
The Black Cats are also on course to get their other Bosman signing, Birmingham City midfielder Seb Larsson, although the dead-ball specialist is still attracting interest and although Sunderland are favourites, that deal cannot be regarded as a foregone conclusion just yet.
Liverpool’s David Ngog has been pondering over a move to Sunderland while on holiday but the word from the North West is that he has decided to go through with the move on his return.
Gibson and Ngog though are virtual certainties to arrive.
Read the full story in Tuesday’s Mail ...