David Moyes knows he is facing an uphill battle to get the bulk of Sunderland’s transfer business done over the next nine days, as he runs the rule over his former Everton winger Steven Pienaar.
On the eve of Sunderland’s final pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow, the Black Cats still haven’t made a breakthrough in the transfer market, despite submitting two formal offers for players last weekend - one of which had been accepted.
Pienaar spent four years working under Moyes at Goodison Park.
Free agent Pienaar has been training with Sunderland this week after his release by Everton in the summer and will get the chance to earn a permanent deal at the Stadium of Light, with the Black Cats now looking unlikely to further their interest in fellow trialist Charles N’Zogbia.
But even if Sunderland offer Pienaar a contract, Moyes still wants to bring in a total of five players before the window shuts, with the prospects of making the majority of those additions before next week’s Premier League opener looking increasingly slim.
Moyes said: “Ideally we would get our business done quicker but I have to be honest and say I doubt very much that we will get all our business done before the start of the season.
“We need to add quality, but we also need to add things that can be pushing on.
“Am I going to get all that in the next two or three weeks? Probably not, but I’ll do the best I can.”
Pienaar spent four years working under Moyes at Goodison Park, yet made just six appearances for the Toffees last season as his career stalled.
But by necessity, Moyes is considering bringing in players who can make a short-term impact at Sunderland.
Ideally, the ex-Manchester United boss would like to sign new recruits who can come good in the long-term and gradually find their feet in the Premier League.
Yet with Sunderland’s squad reduced to just 16 senior players and unlikely to instantly leap from the bottom half of the table, Moyes is also having to look at players who can hit the ground running.
“Everything here over recent years has been about getting a player in to survive,” he added.
“And to be fair, we’re probably a bit in that mould just now because we’re late going into the window.
“But we have to get rid of that first of all.
“Some of the players we get in might not be absolutely ready now, they might only be ready in six months time or 12 months time.
“But we have to get players who we think can do the journey here. If they do well, then the more we reward them.
“We brought in a lot of players from the Championship in the early days at Everton.
“Some of them went on to be international players. Some of them didn’t.
“But I do think we have to be careful over who we sign because we don’t want to waste the money we’ve got.”