Sunderland’s dead-wood nearing exit door as clubs show interest

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.

Sunderland’s dead-wood is moving closer to the exit door after several enquiries from Championship clubs.

Unwanted quartet Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Valentin Roberge and Charis Mavrias remained at the Stadium of Light after the transfer deadline, despite it being made clear to them that they were not part of Dick Advocaat’s plans.

Some players are still here though, and that’s not good.

Buckley has not been part of the matchday squad all season, Bridcutt was only on the bench for the opening day, while Roberto De Fanti signings Roberge and Mavrias were not even given a squad number.

There was Championship interest in Bridcutt and Buckley, particularly, during the summer, yet it never materialised into anything concrete, with Sunderland looking to sell and those in the second tier wary of matching the pair’s wages.

But since the emergency loan window opened last week, there have been fresh approaches from the Football League, with Sunderland still looking to offload those considered surplus to requirements.

Head coach Dick Advocaat said: “There’s been some interest from the Championship in one or two players, which is good. We had to improve the squad and bring players in during the summer.

“But that means that some players also have to go.

“Some players are still here though, and that’s not good.”

Buckley and Bridcutt – signed by their ex-Brighton boss Gus Poyet for a combined total of £5million – started just two games between them during Advocaat’s short-term tenure at the end of last season.

Roberge and Mavrias were both out on loan when Advocaat succeeded Poyet last March, yet neither featured for the Black Cats during pre-season.