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Reports: Bridcutt Or Banega For Sunderland, But Not Both?

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Is it a case of one or the other for midfield reinforcements this month?

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

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Sunderland are only looking to make one midfield addition this week, according to multiple reports in the media. Liam Bridcutt remains the top target, but whilst the interest in Valencia's Ever Banega is genuine, many are claiming he is merely the back-up option to the Brighton man.

It's an interesting conundrum and, if true, has raised one or two questions.

It seems a bit of an odd situation really given that the two are not similar kinds of players in the slightest. Bridcutt - a former centre-half in his youth team days - is very much a defensive minded player. Under Poyet at the Amex Stadium he was almost a pet project of the Uruguayan, who developed him in the role at the base of the midfield.

Banega, on the other hand, is more comparable to Ki Sung-Yueng. He absolutely has the passing range and intelligence to play the midfield anchor role, but it's a huge waste of a genuine creative talent. He certainly doesn't look like someone who could come in and instantly slot into a more defensive role in the Premier League.

There is also the Lee Cattermole situation to consider, of course. The current incumbent of the midfield pivot position is being heavily linked with Stoke City. If he were to stay, Bridcutt's arrival would not be so much of a priority. If he goes, perhaps both could arrive. It is worth remembering, however, that Bridcutt would not be available for the League Cup Final.

If the reports have substance, it could be that the wage bill is what is driving the agenda. It always does to some extent, we should never lose sight of that, but in the modern age of Financial Fair Play that is more the case than ever.

If so, then we could be looking at a classic domino effect over the next couple of days. Room for one now, but as the deadline nears and offers roll in for players, options widen and the situation changes at the drop of a hat. Hopefully, a Craig Gardner or possibly even Seb Larsson sized hole in the wage bill can open up before Friday.

If there opportunity arose to get both, you'd hope the club took it.